Sapientia 66:23-39 (2010)

Juan José Sanguineti
Pontifical University Of The Holy Cross
This paper aims to explain how the human Self can be said a cause of his/her free actions, especially when they are voluntary and physical. First it is analyzed the natural causation in the physical world, particularly in self-organized living beings and afterwards in animal intentional behaviour, which is guided by cognition and emotions. An important distinction between downward causation and bottom-up causation is useful to explain the complex causality in self-organized intentional beings. Downward causation, coming from a higher level, has in influence over lower ontological levels. Bottom-up causation operates inversely. It is also drawn a distinction between the “natural Self” (nature enhanced by habits) and the “intentional Self” (a subject endowed with consciousness and the power of controlling operations). This framework is applied to man, whose higher downward causality comes from the person (intellect and free will) and, guiding the sensitive lower layer of his/her nature, reaches in a quite natural way the voluntary control of the body.
Keywords Self  Mind causation  Downward causation  Upward causation  Intentional Self  Natural Self
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The Physics of Downward Causation.Paul Davies - 2006 - In Philip Clayton & Paul Davies (eds.), The Re-Emergence of Emergence. Oxford University Press.

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