Synthesis Philosophica 22 (1):219-229 (2007)

It is obvious why the antireductionist picture of mental causation, which considers mental phenomena to be causally efficacious, is so attractive: it preserves the unique nature of the mental , while at the same time it tries to secure a place for the mental in our world which is compatible with a physicalist ideology . But Kim’s so called argument from supervenience reminds us of the dilemma that we face while favouring antireductionist solutions of mental causation which might force us to abandon them and look for some other more plausible ones. The trouble is, namely, the following: either mental properties have causal powers or not. If they have them then we violate the causal closure principle which means a denial of physicalism. If not, then we embrace epiphenomenalism, which denies the mental causal powers of any sort. So, either we give up physicalism or accept epiphenomenalism. Since antireductionism loses both ways neither of these options represents a true alternative for its proponents. For this reason some authors think that we should look at reductionism in order to explain mental causation in a more satisfactory manner. However, it is not the traditional Nagel model of reduction that is in play here, but some rather more sophisticated ones. The first part of the article presents the reasons for dropping classical reduction, the second part describes Kim’s functional model of reduction as one of its possible successors, and the final part of the article discusses the reasons for its failure
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 52,956
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Mad Pain and Martian Pain.David Lewis - 1980 - In Ned Block (ed.), Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology. Harvard University Press. pp. 216-222.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Does Functional Reduction Need Bridge Laws? A Response to Marras.Kevin Morris - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):647-657.
Is Functional Reduction Logical Reduction?Max Kistler - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (14):219-234.
Theory Reduction by Means of Functional Sub‐Types.Michael Esfeld & Christian Sachse - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):1 – 17.
Consciousness and Reduction.Ausonio Marras - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (2):335-361.
Construction by Reduction.Jeffry L. Ramsey - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (1):1-20.
Les Limites de la Réduction Fonctionnelle.Janez Bregant - 2007 - Synthesis Philosophica 22 (1):219-229.


Added to PP index

Total views
26 ( #381,323 of 2,343,886 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #332,548 of 2,343,886 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes