Erkenntnis 85 (4):919-935 (2020)

John Campbell has claimed that the interventionist account of causation must be amended if it is to be applied to causation in psychology. The problem, he argues, is that it follows from the so-called ‘surgical’ constraint that intervening on psychological states requires the suspension of the agent’s rational autonomy. In this paper, I argue that the problem Campbell identifies is in fact an instance of a wider problem for interventionism, extending beyond psychology, which I call the problem of ‘abrupt transitions’. I then defend a solution to the problem, which replaces the surgical constraint with a weaker constraint on interventions that nevertheless does all the work the surgical constraint was designed to do. I conclude by exploring some interesting consequences of this weaker constraint for causation in psychology.
Keywords Mental Causation
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-018-0059-8
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References found in this work BETA

Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.

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General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.

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