Mental causation and explanatory exclusion

Erkenntnis 39 (3):333-358 (1993)

Authors
Sara Worley
Bowling Green State University
Abstract
  Kim argues that we can never have more than one complete and independent explanation for a single event. The existence of both mental and physical explanations for behavior would seem to violate this principle. We can avoid violating it only if we suppose that mental causal relationships supervene on physical causal relationships. I argue that although his solution is attractive in many respects, it will not do as it stands. I propose an alternate understanding of supervenient causation which preserves the advantages of Kim's account while avoiding the problems. My analysis involves appeal to counterfactuals. Any counterfactual analysis must confront the problem that mental states appear to be screened off from causal relevance by physical states. I argue that screening off is not a problem, because cases in which mental states appear to be screened off are cases in which background conditions are not held constant
Keywords Causation  Counterfactual  Epistemology  Mental  Kim, J
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DOI 10.1007/BF01128507
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References found in this work BETA

Making Mind Matter More.Jerry A. Fodor - 1989 - Philosophical Topics 17 (11):59-79.
Epiphenomenal and Supervenient Causation.Jaegwon Kim - 1984 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 9 (1):257-70.
'Strong' and 'Global' Supervenience Revisited.Jaegwon Kim - 1987 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 48 (December):315-26.
Making Mind Matter More.Jerry Fodor - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (11):642.
More on Making Mind Matter.Ernest LePore & Barry Loewer - 1989 - Philosophical Topics 17 (1):175-191.

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Citations of this work BETA

Explanatory Exclusion and Mental Explanation.Dwayne Moore - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (3):390-404.

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