Philosophical Studies 145 (1):149-169 (2009)

Authors
Jessica Wilson
University of Missouri, St. Louis
Abstract
How can mental properties bring about physical effects, as they seem to do, given that the physical realizers of the mental goings-on are already sufficient to cause these effects? This question gives rise to the problem of mental causation (MC) and its associated threats of causal overdetermination, mental causal exclusion, and mental causal irrelevance. Some (e.g., Cynthia and Graham Macdonald, and Stephen Yablo) have suggested that understanding mental-physical realization in terms of the determinable/determinate relation (henceforth, 'determination') provides the key to solving the problem of MC: if mental properties are determinables of their physical realizers, then (since determinables and determinates are distinct, yet don't causally compete) all three threats may be avoided. Not everyone agrees that determination can do this good work, however. Some (e.g., Douglas Ehring, Eric Funkhauser, and Sven Walter) object that mental-physical realization can't be determination, since such realization lacks one or other characteristic feature of determination. I argue that on a proper understanding of the features of determination key to solving the problem of MC these arguments can be resisted.
Keywords determinables  determinates  determinable determinate relation  realization  physical realization  Douglas Ehring  Stephen Yablo  emergence  physicalism  mental causation
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-009-9384-8
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References found in this work BETA

Mental Causation.Stephen Yablo - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.
Logical Parts.Laurie A. Paul - 2002 - Noûs 36 (4):578–596.
Realization and Mental Causation.Sydney Shoemaker - 2000 - The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 9:23-33.
Disjunctive Properties: Multiple Realizations.Lenny Clapp - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):111-136.

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Citations of this work BETA

No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
Metaphysical Emergence: Weak and Strong.Jessica Wilson - 2015 - In Tomasz Bigaj & Christian Wuthrich (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities. pp. 251-306.
A Determinable-Based Account of Metaphysical Indeterminacy.Jessica M. Wilson - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (4):359-385.
Realization Relations in Metaphysics.Umut Baysan - 2015 - Minds and Machines (3):1-14.

View all 40 citations / Add more citations

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