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Determination and mental causation

Erkenntnis 46 (3):281-304 (1997)

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  1. Mental Causation and the New Compatibilism.Jens Harbecke - 2013 - Abstracta 7 (1).
    Twenty years ago Stephen Yablo developed his original theory of mental causation, which has drawn much attention ever since. By providing a detailed reconstruction of Yablo’s approach, this paper first demonstrates that a certain line of critique that has repeatedly been brought forward against Yablo over the last two decades misconstrues the core idea of the model. At the same time, the reconstruction reveals that Yablo’s approach is probably the first explicit version of the “new compatibilism” within the philosophy of (...)
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  • Determinables, Determinates, and Causal Relevance.Sven Walter - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (2):217-244.
    Mental causation, our mind's ability to causally affect the course of the world, is part and parcel of our ‘manifest image’ of the world. That there is mental causation is denied by virtually no one. How there can be such a thing as mental causation, however, is far from obvious. In recent years, discussions about the problem of mental causation have focused on Jaegwon Kim's so-called Causal Exclusion Argument, according to which mental events are ‘screened off’ or ‘preempted’ by physical (...)
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  • Necessary Laws.Max Kistler - 2005 - In Jan Faye, Paul Needham, Uwe Scheffler & Max Urchs (eds.), Nature’s Principles. Springer. pp. 201-227.
    In the first part of this paper, I argue against the view that laws of nature are contingent, by attacking a necessary condition for its truth within the framework of a conception of laws as relations between universals. I try to show that there is no independent reason to think that universals have an essence independent of their nomological properties. However, such a non-qualitative essence is required to make sense of the idea that different laws link the same universals in (...)
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  • The Co-Instantiation Thesis.Ann Whittle - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):61 – 79.
    The co-instantiation thesis is pivotal to a significant solution to the problem of causal exclusion. But this thesis has been subject to some powerful objections. In this paper, I argue that these difficulties arise because the thesis lacks the necessary metaphysical framework in which its claims should be interpreted and understood. Once this framework is in place, we see that the co-instantiation thesis can answer its critics. The result is a rehabilitated co-instantiation solution to the troubling problem of causal exclusion. (...)
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  • The Nonexistence of Determinables: Or, a World of Absolute Determinates as Default Hypothesis.Carl Gillett & Bradley Rives - 2005 - Noûs 39 (3):483–504.
    An electron clearly has the property of having a charge of þ1.6 10 19 coulombs, but does it also have the property of being charged ? Philosophers have worried whether so-called ‘determinable’ predicates, such as ‘is charged’, actually refer to determinable properties in the way they are happy to say that determinate predicates, such as ‘has a charge of þ1.6 10 19 coulombs’, refer to determinate properties. The distinction between determinates and determinables is itself fairly new, dating only to its (...)
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  • Determinables, Determinates, And Causal Relevance.Sven Walter - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (2):217-243.
    Mental causation, our mind's ability to causally affect the course of the world, is part and parcel of our ‘manifest image’ of the world. That there is mental causation is denied by virtually no one. How there can be such a thing as mental causation, however, is far from obvious. In recent years, discussions about the problem of mental causation have focused on Jaegwon Kim's so-called Causal Exclusion Argument, according to which mental events are ‘screened off’ or ‘preempted’ by physical (...)
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  • Determinables in Frames.David Hommen - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (2):291-310.
    In this paper, I assess the ontological commitments of frame-based methods of knowledge representation. Frames decompose concepts into recursive attribute-value structures. Attributes are the general aspects by which a category or individual is described; their values are more or less specific properties that are assigned to the referential object. The question is: are these properties to be interpreted as universals or as tropes? Some trope theorists allege that an interpretation in terms of universals is incompatible with frames for individuals in (...)
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  • Crimson Brain, Red Mind: Yablo on Mental Causation.Edward T. Cox - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (1):77-99.
    Stephen Yablo offers a solution to the problem of mental causation by claiming that the physical is a determinate of the mental's determinable, and therefore the mental and physical do not compete for causal relevance. I present Yablo's solution and argue that the mental‐physical relation cannot meet three necessary conditions for determination. That relation fails to meet the requirements that determinates of the same determinable be incompatible and that no property can be a determinate of more than one determinable. Further, (...)
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  • Vertical Versus Horizontal: What is Really at Issue in the Exclusion Problem?John Donaldson - 2019 - Synthese (2):1-16.
    I outline two ways of reading what is at issue in the exclusion problem faced by non-reductive physicalism, the “vertical” versus “horizontal”, and argue that the vertical reading is to be preferred to the horizontal. I discuss the implications: that those who have pursued solutions to the horizontal reading of the problem have taken a wrong turn.
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  • The Logic of How-Questions.William Jaworski - 2009 - Synthese 166 (1):133 - 155.
    Philosophers and scientists are concerned with the why and the how of things. Questions like the following are so much grist for the philosopher’s and scientist’s mill: How can we be free and yet live in a deterministic universe?, How do neural processes give rise to conscious experience?, Why does conscious experience accompany certain physiological events at all?, How is a three-dimensional perception of depth generated by a pair of two-dimensional retinal images?. Since Belnap and Steel’s pioneering work on the (...)
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  • Events, Sortals, and the Mind–Body Problem.Eric Marcus - 2006 - Synthese 150 (1):99-129.
    In recent decades, a view of identity I call Sortalism has gained popularity. According to this view, if a is identical to b, then there is some sortal S such that a is the same S as b. Sortalism has typically been discussed with respect to the identity of objects. I argue that the motivations for Sortalism about object-identity apply equally well to event-identity. But Sortalism about event-identity poses a serious threat to the view that mental events are token identical (...)
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  • The Role of Supervenience and Constitution in Neuroscientific Research.Jens Harbecke - 2014 - Synthese 191 (5):1-19.
    This paper is concerned with the notions of supervenience and mechanistic constitution as they have been discussed in the philosophy of neuroscience. Since both notions essentially involve specific dependence and determination relations among properties and sets of properties, the question arises whether the notions are systematically connected and how they connect to science. In a first step, some definitions of supervenience and mechanistic constitution are presented and tested for logical independence. Afterwards, certain assumptions fundamental to neuroscientific inquiry are made explicit (...)
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  • Grounding-Based Formulations of Physicalism.Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - Topoi 37 (3):495-512.
    I problematize Grounding-based formulations of physicalism. More specifically, I argue, first, that motivations for adopting a Grounding-based formulation of physicalism are unsound; second, that a Grounding-based formulation lacks illuminating content, and that attempts to imbue Grounding with content by taking it to be a strict partial order are unuseful and problematic ; third, that conceptions of Grounding as constitutively connected to metaphysical explanation conflate metaphysics and epistemology, are ultimately either circular or self-undermining, and controversially assume that physical dependence is incompatible (...)
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  • Crimson Brain, Red Mind: Yablo on Mental Causation.Edward T. Cox - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (1):77–99.
    Stephen Yablo offers a solution to the problem of mental causation by claiming that the physical is a determinate of the mental's determinable, and therefore the mental and physical do not compete for causal relevance. I present Yablo's solution and argue that the mental‐physical relation cannot meet three necessary conditions for determination. That relation fails to meet the requirements that determinates of the same determinable be incompatible and that no property can be a determinate of more than one determinable. Further, (...)
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  • The Super-Overdetermination Problem.John Donaldson - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    I examine the debate between reductive and non-reductive physicalists, and conclude that if we are to be physicalists, then we should be reductive physicalists. I assess how both reductionists and non-reductionists try to solve the mind-body problem and the problem of mental causation. I focus on the problem of mental causation as it is supposed to be faced by non-reductionism: the so-called overdetermination problem. I argue that the traditional articulation of that problem is significantly flawed, and I show how to (...)
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  • Mental Causation.David Robb & John Heil - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Worries about mental causation are prominent in contemporary discussions of the mind and human agency. Originally, the problem of mental causation was that of understanding how a mental substance (thought to be immaterial) could interact with a material substance, a body. Most philosophers nowadays repudiate immaterial minds, but the problem of mental causation has not gone away. Instead, focus has shifted to mental properties. How could mental properties be causally relevant to bodily behavior? How could something mental qua mental cause (...)
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  • Knowledge as a Non‐Normative Relation.Kurt Sylvan - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):190-222.
    According to a view I’ll call Epistemic Normativism, knowledge is normative in the same sense in which paradigmatically normative properties like justification are normative. This paper argues against EN in two stages and defends a positive non-normativist alternative. After clarifying the target in §1, I consider in §2 some arguments for EN from the premise that knowledge entails justification. I first raise some worries about inferring constitution from entailment. I then rehearse the reasons why some epistemologists reject the Entailment Thesis (...)
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