Causation in the Argument for Anomalous Monism

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):183-226 (1998)

Authors
Steven Yalowitz
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Abstract
Donald Davidson has two central aims in his celebrated paper ‘Mental Events.’ First, he argues for the impossibility of ‘strict … laws on the basis of which mental events can be predicted and explained’. I shall call the resulting view ‘mental anomalism.’ Second, he argues, based partially on this impossibility, for a version of monism which holds that every mental event is token-identical with some physical event. This second aim puts constraints on how the argument for mental anomalism can plausibly proceed. That argument cannot assume anything that presupposes monism or adversely affects the argument for it. When elaborated, this constraint by itself rules out otherwise attractive conceptions of how the argument for mental anomalism works. More generally, in order to be compelling, the overall argument for anomalous monism ought not to incorporate excessively controversial presuppositions even if they do not themselves beg any questions about monism. The argument needs to be built upon relatively intuitive premises.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091  
DOI cjphil199828210
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References found in this work BETA

Knowing One's Own Mind.Donald Davidson - 1987 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 60 (3):441-458.
Virtue and Reason.John McDowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.
When Other Things Aren’T Equal: Saving Ceteris Paribus Laws From Vacuity.Paul Pietroski & Georges Rey - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):81-110.
Making Mind Matter More.Jerry A. Fodor - 1989 - Philosophical Topics 17 (11):59-79.
Ceteris Paribus Laws.Stephen Schiffer - 1991 - Mind 100 (397):1-17.

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Citations of this work BETA

Anomalism and Supervenience: A Critical Survey.Oron Shagrir - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):pp. 237-272.
Davidson's Social Externalism.Steven Yalowitz - 1999 - Philosophia 27 (1-2):99-136.

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