Warum kommen "mentale Ursachen" physikalischen Erklärungen eigentlich nicht in die Quere? Einige grundsätzliche Überlegungen zur Verwendung des Ausdrucks "a verursacht b" im Umkreis moderner naturwissenschaftlicher Theorien

Grazer Philosophische Studien 65 (1):169-194 (2003)
A careful examination of the concept of a "physical law" in modern experimental science reveals that "cause" is a purely metatheoretical term in physics: Causal knowledge is merely pre-nomological knowledge about the explanatory and predictive relevance of our nomological knowledge, and that is: of our theories. While effects are facts, that is, events under a certain (theory-dependent) description, causes are just events. Causal talk comes into play only when physical explanations of certain facts fail or are (at the time being) incomplete, that is, when there is a difference between the very fact on the one hand side and the explanandum of a given explanation on the other. Whenever explanations are adequate, talking about causes becomes void. "Mental causes" will hence never collide with physical explanations. As long as physical explanations are still incomplete, "mental causes" or "physical causes" will both guide the application of our physical knowledge (by means of so called "generic causal statements"). And if physics will ever be able to give a complete explanation of certain phenomena, then there will be no reason to talk about causes anymore—neither about mental causes nor about physical causes.
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