Individualism, causal powers, and explanation

Philosophical Studies 68 (2):103-39 (1992)

Robert A. Wilson
La Trobe University
This paper examines a recent, influential argument for individualism in psychology defended by Jerry Fodor and others, what I call the argument from causal powers. I argue that this argument equivocates on the crucial notion of "causal powers", and that this equivocation constitutes a deep problem for arguments of this type. Relational and individualistic taxonomies are incompatible, and it does not seem in general to be possible to factor the former into the latter. The distinction between powers and properties plays a central role in my argument
Keywords Causation  Globalism  Individualism  Mental States  Science  Burge, T  Stich, S
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DOI 10.1007/BF00354473
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References found in this work BETA

The Mismeasure of Man.Stephen Jay Gould - 1981 - W.W. Norton and Company.
The Nature of Selection.Elliott Sober - 1986 - Behaviorism 14 (1):77-88.
Individualism and Psychology.Tyler Burge - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (January):3-45.

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Individualism, Causal Powers, and Explanation.Robert A. Wilson - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 68 (2):103-39.

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