Causation by Content?

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Nonreductive physicalism together with environment-dependence of content has been thought to be incompatible with the claim that beliefs are efficacious partly in virtue of their possession of content, that is, in virtue of their intentional properties. I argue that this is not so. First, I provide a general account of property causation. Then, I explain how, even given the truth of nonreductive physicalism and the environment-dependence of content, intentional properties will be efficacious according to this account. I go on to relate my discussion to that concerning whether anomalous monism is committed to epiphenomenalism. I close by considering how my proposal suggests we should conceive of different levels of causation in a layered world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-320
Number of pages30
JournalMind and Language
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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