Difference-Making, Closure and Exclusion

In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
Consider the following causal exclusion principle: For all distinct properties F and F* such that F* supervenes on F, F and F* do not both cause a property G. Peter Menzies and Christian List have proven that it follows from a natural conception of causation as difference-making that this exclusion principle is not generally true. Rather, it turns out that whether the principle is true is a contingent matter. In addition, they have shown that in a wide range of empirically ordinary cases, it follows that F* causes G and F does not. These cases plausibly include instances where F* is a mental property and F and G are physical properties. If this is the right conception of causation, it therefore turns out that the physical world is not causally closed. In this paper I show that there is an alternative conception of causation as difference-making that does not have the same consequences. Whether the physical world is causally closed therefore turns out to depend, inter alia, on which conception of difference-making is correct. I give a number of arguments for the alternative conception of difference-making.
Keywords Causation  Difference-Making  Causal Closure
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References found in this work BETA
Lessons From The Context Sensitivity of Causal Talk.Eric Swanson - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (5):221-242.

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