By the same authors

Mental causation: ontology and patterns of variation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)



Publication details

Title of host publicationMental Causation and Ontology
DatePublished - Apr 2013
Number of pages38
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of PublicationOxford
EditorsS. C. Gibb, E. J. Lowe, R. D. Ingthorsson
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)9780199603770


The paper uses two overreactions to Kim’s challenge to the efficacy of mental properties, if nonreductive physicalism is true, to motivate an alternative. According to the first, property causation involves patterns of dependency, according to the second, it is ensured by property identification. The former has problems with redundant causation, the latter with justifying the proposed property identifications - e.g. by the causal powers of one being a subset of the causal powers of the other. The former places the emphasis on inference-basing, the latter on truth-making. The recommended approach seeks to respect both by having a determination – rather than identification - condition and a generality condition which does not appeal to law. Discussion of the approach suggests a different conception of non-reductive physicalism, appealing to harmony or co-ordination.

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