Mental causation: ontology and patterns of variation

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

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