Mental Causation and the Metaphysics of Causation

Erkenntnis 67 (2):207 - 220 (2007)
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Abstract

The paper argues for four claims: (1) The problem of mental causation and the argument for its solution in terms of the identity of mental with physical causes are independent of the theory of causation one favours. (2) If one considers our experience of agency as described by folk psychology to be veridical, one is committed to an anti-Humean metaphysics of causation in terms of powers that establish necessary connections. The same goes for functional properties in general. (3) A metaphysics of causation in terms of powers is compatible with physics. (4) If combined with the argument for mental causes being identical with physical causes, that metaphysics leads to a conservative reductionism

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Michael Esfeld
University of Lausanne

Citations of this work

Mechanisms, Determination and the Metaphysics of Neuroscience.Patrice Soom - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (3):655-664.
Mechanisms, Determination and the Metaphysics of Neuroscience.Patrice Soom - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (3):655-664.
Humean Metaphysics Versus a Metaphysics of Powers.Michael Esfeld - 2010 - In Gerhard Ernst & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Time, Chance and Reduction: Philosophical Aspects of Statistical Mechanics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 119.

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References found in this work

Philosophical Papers.David Kellogg Lewis - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Mental Events.Donald Davidson - 1970 - In L. Foster & J. W. Swanson (eds.), Experience and Theory. Clarendon Press. pp. 207-224.
Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
From an Ontological Point of View.John Heil - 2003 - Oxford University Press.

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