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  1. Mental Causation for Standard Dualists.Bram Vaassen - 2024 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    The standard objection to dualist theories of mind is that they seemingly cannot account for the obvious fact that mental phenomena cause our behaviour. On the plausible assumption that all our behaviour is physically necessitated by entirely physical phenomena, there appears to be no room for dualist mental causation. Some argue that dualists can address this problem by making minimal adjustments in their ontology. I argue that no such adjustments are required. Given recent developments in philosophy of causation, it is (...)
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  2. Halfway Proportionality.Bram Vaassen - 2022 - Philosophical Studies (9):1-21.
    According to the so-called 'proportionality principle', causes should be proportional to their effects: they should be both enough and not too much for the occurrence of their effects. This principle is the subject of an ongoing debate. On the one hand, many maintain that it is required to address the problem of causal exclusion and take it to capture a crucial aspect of causation. On the other hand, many object that it renders accounts of causation implausibly restrictive and often reject (...)
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  3. Dualism and Exclusion.Bram Vaassen - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (3):543-552.
    Many philosophers argue that exclusion arguments cannot exclude non-reductionist physicalist mental properties from being causes without excluding properties that are patently causal as well. List and Stoljar (2017) recently argued that a similar response to exclusion arguments is also available to dualists, thereby challenging the predominant view that exclusion arguments undermine dualist theories of mind. In particular, List and Stoljar maintain that exclusion arguments against dualism require a premise that states that, if a property is metaphysically distinct from the sufficient (...)
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  4. AI, Opacity, and Personal Autonomy.Bram Vaassen - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (4):1-20.
    Advancements in machine learning have fuelled the popularity of using AI decision algorithms in procedures such as bail hearings, medical diagnoses and recruitment. Academic articles, policy texts, and popularizing books alike warn that such algorithms tend to be opaque: they do not provide explanations for their outcomes. Building on a causal account of transparency and opacity as well as recent work on the value of causal explanation, I formulate a moral concern for opaque algorithms that is yet to receive a (...)
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  5. Causal Exclusion without Causal Sufficiency.Bram Vaassen - 2021 - Synthese 198:10341-10353.
    Some non-reductionists claim that so-called ‘exclusion arguments’ against their position rely on a notion of causal sufficiency that is particularly problematic. I argue that such concerns about the role of causal sufficiency in exclusion arguments are relatively superficial since exclusionists can address them by reformulating exclusion arguments in terms of physical sufficiency. The resulting exclusion arguments still face familiar problems, but these are not related to the choice between causal sufficiency and physical sufficiency. The upshot is that objections to the (...)
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  6. Basic beliefs and the perceptual learning problem: A substantial challenge for moderate foundationalism.Bram Vaassen - 2016 - Episteme 13 (1):133-149.
    In recent epistemology many philosophers have adhered to a moderate foundationalism according to which some beliefs do not depend on other beliefs for their justification. Reliance on such ‘basic beliefs’ pervades both internalist and externalist theories of justification. In this article I argue that the phenomenon of perceptual learning – the fact that certain ‘expert’ observers are able to form more justified basic beliefs than novice observers – constitutes a challenge for moderate foundationalists. In order to accommodate perceptual learning cases, (...)
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  7. Causal after all : a model of mental causation for dualists.Bram Vaassen - 2019 - Dissertation, Umeå University
    In this dissertation, I develop and defend a model of causation that allows for dualist mental causation in worlds where the physical domain is physically complete. In Part I, I present the dualist ontology that will be assumed throughout the thesis and identify two challenges for models of mental causation within such an ontology: the exclusion worry and the common cause worry. I also argue that a proper response to these challenges requires a thoroughly lightweight account of causation, i.e. an (...)
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  8. And Therefore.Bram Vaassen & Alex Sandgren - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This article focuses on `therefore' constructions such as ‘The switch is on, and therefore the lights are on’. We submit that the contribution of `therefore’ is to express a dependence as part of the core content of these constructions, rather than being conveyed by conventional implicature (Grice 1975, Potts 2005, Neta 2013) or a triggered presupposition (Pavese 2017, forthcoming, Stokke 2017). We argue that the standard objections to this view can be answered by relying on the general projection hypothesis defended (...)
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  9. Absence and Abnormality.Bram Vaassen - 2023 - Analysis 83 (1):98-106.
    Absences pose a dilemma for theories of causation. Allowing them to be causes seems to make theories too permissive (Lewis, 2000). Banning them from being causes seems to make theories too restrictive (Schaffer, 2000, 2004). An increasingly popular approach to this dilemma is to acknowledge that norms can affect which absences count as causes (e.g., Thomson, 2003; McGrath, 2005; Henne et al., 2017; Willemsen, 2018). In this article, I distinguish between two influential implementations of such ‘abnormality’ approaches and argue that (...)
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