About this topic
Summary The claim that physics is causally closed is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Completeness of Physics’ (e.g. Papineau 1991). For physics to be causally closed, all physical events (facts, etc.) must be due to physical causes. This claim is a crucial premise in the ‘causal’ or ‘no overdetermination argument’ for physicalism. Given this premise, anything else that has physical effects – for example mental events – must, it is then argued, supervene on, or reduce to, or be identical with (etc.) something physical unless we are prepared to accept systematic over-determination. Dualistic interactionists tend to deny the completeness of physics (some physical events have fundamentally mental causes). According to some versions of emergence, or downward causation, there are physical events that are at least partly due to non-physical causes (see, e.g. Gillett 2002 and Wilson 2015). If physics is not causally closed, then physicalism in any form is probably false.
Key works

A useful historical account of the rise of the view that physics is complete is Papineau 2000. For an extended treatment of the topic see Spurrett 1999. Among recent papers directly focused on the issue, see Lowe 2000, Montero 2003, Vicente 2006, Corry 2013, Garcia 2014, and Tiehen 2015.

Introductions

Relevant encyclopedia articles include Robb & Heil 2008 (especially section 2.3) and Stoljar 2015 (especially section 16).

Related

Contents
185 found
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  1. Overdetermination and Causal Closure: A Defense of the Causal Argument for Physicalism.Alyssa Ney - manuscript
    Among the arguments that have been proposed for physicalism, the “causal argument” is widely taken to be the most compelling. Justin Tiehen (2015) has raised an interesting objection to this argument that takes the form of a dilemma. Tiehen’s ultimate conclusion is that at best, the causal argument is circular and so its premises cannot provide support for its conclusion, physicalism. The aim of the present paper is to respond to Tiehen’s objection in order to provide a defense of the (...)
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  2. Exclusion Excluded.Brad Weslake - manuscript
    I argue that an independently attractive account of causation and causal explanation provides a principled resolution of the exclusion problem.
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  3. Zeno Goes to Copenhagen: A Dilemma for Measurement-Collapse Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics.David J. Chalmers & Kelvin J. McQueen - forthcoming - In M. C. Kafatos, D. Banerji & D. C. Struppa (eds.), Quantum and Consciousness Revisited. DK Publisher.
    A familiar interpretation of quantum mechanics (one of a number of views sometimes labeled the "Copenhagen interpretation'"), takes its empirical apparatus at face value, holding that the quantum wave function evolves by the Schrödinger equation except on certain occasions of measurement, when it collapses into a new state according to the Born rule. This interpretation is widely rejected, primarily because it faces the measurement problem: "measurement" is too imprecise for use in a fundamental physical theory. We argue that this is (...)
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  4. Mental Causation.Rebekah L. H. Rice - forthcoming - In Kevin Timpe, Meghan Griffith & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge.
  5. Could Mental Causation Be Invisible?David Robb - forthcoming - In Alexander Carruth, S. C. Gibb & John Heil (eds.), The Metaphysics of E.J. Lowe. Oxford University Press.
    E.J. Lowe has recently proposed a model of mental causation on which mental events are emergent, thus exerting a novel, downward causal influence on physical events. Yet on Lowe's model, mental causation is at the same time empirically undetectable, and in this sense is "invisible". Lowe's model is ingenious, but I don't think emergentists should welcome it, for it seems to me that a primary virtue of emergentism is its bold empirical prediction about the long-term results of human physiology. Here (...)
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  6. Dualism, the Causal Closure of the Physical, and Philip Goff’s Case for Panpsychism.Dmytro Sepetyi - forthcoming - Metaphysica.
    The article discusses Philip Goff’s latest projects of developing panpsychist research program as one that is capable of revealing the place of consciousness in the physical world and accounting for the intrinsic nature of physical reality, while avoiding the problem of the causal closure of the physical that is supposed to be pernicious for psychophysical dualism. The case is made that on the one hand, dualism has pretty good resources to meet the inductive no-gap objection appealing to the causal closure, (...)
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  7. Recent Work on Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - forthcoming - Analysis.
    A review of recent work on physicalism, focusing on what it means to say nothing exists over and above the physical, how "the physical" should be defined, and the causal argument for physicalism.
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  8. The Timing Problem for Dualist Accounts of Mental Causation.Ben White - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Setting aside all exclusion-style worries about the redundancy of postulating additional, non-physical mental causes for effects that can already be explained in purely physical terms, dualists who treat mental properties as supervening on physical properties still face a further problem: in cases of mental-to-mental causation, they cannot avoid positing an implausibly coincidental coordination in the timing of the distinct causal processes terminating, respectively, in the mental effect and its physical base. I argue that this problem arises regardless of whether one (...)
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  9. From Multilevel Explanation to Downward Causation.David Yates - forthcoming - In Alastair Wilson & Katie Robertson (eds.), Levels of Explanation. Oxford University Press.
    The causal closure of the physical poses a familiar causal exclusion problem for the special sciences that stems from the idea that if closure is true, then fundamental physical properties do all the causal work involved in bringing about physical effects. In this paper I aim to show that the strongest causal closure principle that is not ruled out by some simple physics in fact allows for a certain kind of downward causation, which in turn makes room for robust special (...)
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  10. Methodological Naturalists Need Not Commit to Metaphysical Naturalism.Hamed Bikaraan-Behesht - 2023 - Scientia et Fides 11 (1):45-61.
    In their paper “Should Methodological Naturalists Commit to Metaphysical Naturalism?” Zargar et al. try to show that the correct answer to the question that the title of their paper poses is positive. They argue that methodological naturalism has a metaphysical presupposition, namely causal closure, and an epistemological consequence, namely evidentialism. Causal closure and evidentialism imply metaphysical naturalism. Thus, they conclude, one who believes in methodological naturalism should also endorse causal closure, evidentialism, and metaphysical naturalism as a result. In this paper, (...)
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  11. Causalità del mentale: dall'argomento di Kim ai qualia in una prospettiva fisicalista.Leonardo Capitaneo - 2023 - Dissertation, Università Degli Studi di Torino
    Lo scopo dell’elaborato è presentare il problema della causalità del mentale e cercare di dare una soluzione fisicalista al problema che possa includere anche i qualia, da sempre considerati come l’ultima difesa a favore dell’irriducibilità della mente al fisico. Il primo capitolo ha il compito di trovare la teoria metafisica del mentale migliore che riesca sia a rendere conto della causalità del mentale e sia a resistere all’argomento di Kim. Dopo aver esposto in dettaglio l’argomento di Kim sono affrontati i (...)
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  12. A Hole Without the Whole: Hylomorphism Against the Causal Closure of the Physical.João Pinheiro da Silva - 2023 - Dissertation, Central European University
    Howard Robinson has criticized the contemporary revival of hylomorphism in analytic philosophy for being inconsistent with the causal closure of the physical (CCP) and, by consequence, modern science. This thesis critically evaluates Robinson's criticism. We firstly analyze Robinson’s argument and reinforce it with Jaegwon Kim's causal overdetermination argument. We then turn to CCP itself, settling its exact meaning and highlighting its problems. We argue that CCP’s deferral of the meaning of “physical” to physics renders it false - if applied to (...)
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  13. Epiphenomenal Minds and Philosophers’ Zombies: Where do mental properties originate?George Aulisio - 2022 - National Taiwan University Philosophical Review 64 (Special Issue on Self and Other):267-312.
    Property dualism [PD], when adopted by physicalists, is the view that mental properties are irreducible and joined to the physical. Many property dualists who subscribe to physicalism hold epiphenomenalism—the view that the mind does not have a causal role in affecting physical events (e.g., bodily movements).1 In this paper, I examine two possible origins of mental properties and the entailments of those origins if one is committed to physicalism. First, mental properties have a generative origin (e.g., emergence, neurophysiological, etc.). Second, (...)
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  14. Physicalism, Closure, and the Structure of Causal Arguments for Physicalism: A Naturalistic Formulation of the Physical.Hamed Bikaraan-Behesht - 2022 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (4):1081-1096.
    Physicalism is the idea that everything either is physical or is nothing over and above the physical. For this formulation of physicalism to have determinate content, it should be identified what the “physical” refers to; i.e. the body problem. Some other closely related theses, especially the ones employed in the causal arguments for different versions of physicalism, and more especially the causal closure thesis, are also subject to the body problem. In this paper, I do two things. First, I explore (...)
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  15. Naturalism or Ontological Significance? Physicalism and Fundamental Mentality: a historical approach.Hamed Bikaraan-Behesht - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations 16 (38):154-185.
    Most physicalists believe that physicalism is a thesis that denies the existence of fundamental mentality either as a substance or as a property. Therefore, since most physicalists also endorse a posteriori physicalism, according to them, if the future physical theory posits fundamental mentality as a fundamental physical concept, then physicalism will be falsified. In contrast, there are those who believe that the core idea of physicalism is an ontological deference to science (especially physics); the idea that is usually called scientism (...)
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  16. Why incompatibilism about mental causation is incompatible with non-reductive physicalism.Jonas Christensen & Umut Baysan - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (5):546-568.
    ABSTRACT The exclusion problem is meant to show that non-reductive physicalism leads to epiphenomenalism: if mental properties are not identical with physical properties, then they are not causally efficacious. Defenders of a difference-making account of causation suggest that the exclusion problem can be solved because mental properties can be difference-making causes of physical effects. Here, we focus on what we dub an incompatibilist implementation of this general strategy and argue against it from a non-reductive physicalist perspective. Specifically, we argue that (...)
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  17. Consciousness, physicalism, and the problem of mental causation.Christian Coseru - 2022 - In Itay Shani & Susanne Kathrin Beiweis (eds.), Cross-cultural approaches to consciousness: mind, nature and ultimate reality. Bloomsbury Academic, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
    Is there such a thing as mental causation? Is it possible for the mental to have causal influence on the physical? Or has the old “mind over matter” question been rendered obsolete by the advent of brain science? Whatever our answers to these questions, it seems that we cannot systematically pursue them without considering what makes mental causation problematic in the first place: The causal closure of the physical world. This paper revisits the problem of mental causation by drawing on (...)
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  18. Arrangements in Science and Mind.Richard Davies Gill - 2022 - Seatle: Amazon.
    This book is about trying to comprehend the mind from both scientific and philosophical standpoints. In recent years interest has revived in the difficult problem of consciousness. The many difficulties of understanding our minds have been considered in the past, mainly from philosophical or religious viewpoints, but only more recently from scientific perspectives. The book charts the landscape and proposes that the fundamental thing in the world is an arrangement, and this concept can encompass both material objects and things of (...)
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  19. The Materialism of Roy Wood Sellars.Balázs Gimes - 2021 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 11 (1):166-182.
    Physicalism is often characterized as an empirical hypothesis. But according to an alternative conceptualization, it is instead a stance or an attitude. I analyze Roy Wood Sellars’s materialist philosophy in order to show that it is a counterexample to a specific physicalist empirical hypothesis: the minimal completeness of the physical. However, it is arguably not reducible to a stance: it is a meaningful metaphysical thesis with substantive cognitive content.
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  20. The Fundamentality of Physics: Completeness or Maximality.Alyssa Ney - 2021 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 12.
    There is a standard way of interpreting physicalism. This is as a completeness thesis of some kind. Completeness physicalists believe there is or in principle could be some future physics that provides a complete explanatory or ontological basis for our universe. And this provides a sense in which physics is special among the sciences, the sense in which it is fundamental. This paper contrasts this standard completeness physicalism with what is a more plausible maximality physicalism. Maximality physicalists believe physics is (...)
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  21. How the Non-Physical Influences Physics and Physiology: a proposal.Ian J. Thompson - 2021 - Dualism Review 3:1-13.
    The causal closure of the physical world is assumed everywhere in physics but has little empirical support within living organisms. For the spiritual to have effects in nature, and make a difference there, the laws of physical nature would have to be modified or extended. I propose that the renormalized parameters of quantum field theory (masses and charges) are available to be varied locally in order to achieve ends in nature. This is not adding extra forces to nature but rescaling (...)
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  22. Physicalisme et monisme russellien.Victor Tremblay-Baillargeon - 2021 - Ithaque 28:119-137.
    Dans cet article, je propose de défendre le monisme russellien, une théorie posant l’existence de quiddités phénoménologiques au fondement de la réalité. Je propose en particulier de montrer que le monisme russellien échappe aux objections qui en font une version inadéquate du physicalisme. Pour ce faire, j’identifie les trois raisons qui motivent le physicalisme, c’est-à-dire la parcimonie, le naturalisme et l’argument de la clôture causale, et j’argumente qu’il faut considérer que le monisme russellien satisfait ces trois motivations. Ainsi, si j’ai (...)
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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. A mechanism that realizes strong emergence.J. H. van Hateren - 2021 - Synthese 199:12463-12483.
    The causal efficacy of a material system is usually thought to be produced by the law-like actions and interactions of its constituents. Here, a specific system is constructed and explained that produces a cause that cannot be understood in this way, but instead has novel and autonomous efficacy. The construction establishes a proof-of-feasibility of strong emergence. The system works by utilizing randomness in a targeted and cyclical way, and by relying on sustained evolution by natural selection. It is not vulnerable (...)
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  26. Does Idealism Solve the Problem of Consciousness?Ralph Stefan Weir - 2021 - In Joshua Farris & Benedikt Paul Göcke (eds.), Routledge Handbook for Idealism and Immaterialism.
    The problem of consciousness, as I present it here, is the problem of reconciling our understanding of consciousness with (i) the evidence for phenomenal transparency and (ii) the evidence that the physical world is causally closed. We might hope that idealism will do this. For idealism is just as hospitable to phenomenal transparency as dualism. And there is a sense in which idealism posits no physical world to be causally closed in the first place. But I argue that idealism has (...)
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  27. Mental causation as joint causation.Chiwook Won - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4917-4937.
    This paper explores and defends the idea that mental properties and their physical bases jointly cause their physical effects. The paper evaluates the view as an emergentist response to the exclusion problem, comparing it with a competing nonreductive physicalist solution, the compatibilist solution, and argues that the joint causation view is more defensible than commonly supposed. Specifically, the paper distinguishes two theses of closure, Strong Closure and Weak Closure, two causal exclusion problems, the overdetermination problem and the supervenience problem, and (...)
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  28. Disillusioned.Katalin Balog - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):38-53.
    In “The Meta-Problem of Consciousness”, David Chalmers draws a new framework in which to consider the mind-body problem. In addition to trying to solve the hard problem of consciousness – the problem of why and how brain processes give rise to conscious experience –, he thinks that philosophy, psychology, neuro-science and the other cognitive sciences should also pursue a solution to what he calls the “meta-problem” of consciousness – i.e., the problem of why we think there is a problem with (...)
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  29. Hard, Harder, Hardest.Katalin Balog - 2020 - In Arthur Sullivan (ed.), Sensations, Thoughts, and Language: Essays in Honor of Brian Loar. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 265-289.
    In this paper I discuss three problems of consciousness. The first two have been dubbed the “Hard Problem” and the “Harder Problem”. The third problem has received less attention and I will call it the “Hardest Problem”. The Hard Problem is a metaphysical and explanatory problem concerning the nature of conscious states. The Harder Problem is epistemological, and it concerns whether we can know, given physicalism, whether some creature physically different from us is conscious. The Hardest Problem is a problem (...)
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  30. Anomalous Dualism: A New Approach to the Mind-Body Problem.David Bourget - 2020 - In William Seager (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. Routledge.
    In this paper, I explore anomalous dualism about consciousness, a view that has not previously been explored in any detail. We can classify theories of consciousness along two dimensions: first, a theory might be physicalist or dualist; second, a theory might endorse any of the three following views regarding causal relations between phenomenal properties (properties that characterize states of our consciousness) and physical properties: nomism (the two kinds of property interact through deterministic laws), acausalism (they do not causally interact), and (...)
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  31. Can the Russellian Monist Escape the Epiphenomenalist’s Paradox?Lok-Chi Chan - 2020 - Topoi 39 (5):1093-1102.
    Russellian monism—an influential doctrine proposed by Russell (The analysis of matter, Routledge, London, 1927/1992)—is roughly the view that physics can only ever tell us about the causal, dispositional, and structural properties of physical entities and not their categorical (or intrinsic) properties, whereas our qualia are constituted by those categorical properties. In this paper, I will discuss the relation between Russellian monism and a seminal paradox facing epiphenomenalism, the paradox of phenomenal judgment: if epiphenomenalism is true—qualia are causally inefficacious—then any judgment (...)
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  32. Dualism: How Epistemic Issues Drive Debates About the Ontology of Consciousness.Brie Gertler - 2020 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    A primary goal of this chapter is to highlight neglected epistemic parallels between dualism and physicalism. Both dualist and physicalist arguments employ a combination of empirical data and armchair reflection; both rely on considerations stemming from how we conceptualize certain phenomena; and both aim to establish views that are compatible with scientific results but go well beyond the deliverances of empirical science. -/- I begin the chapter by fleshing out the distinctive commitments of dualism, in a way that illuminates the (...)
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  33. The Causal Efficacy of Consciousness.Matthew Owen - 2020 - Entropy 22 (8).
    Mental causation is vitally important to the integrated information theory (IIT), which says consciousness exists since it is causally efficacious. While it might not be directly apparent, metaphysical commitments have consequential entailments concerning the causal efficacy of consciousness. Commitments regarding the ontology of consciousness and the nature of causation determine which problem(s) a view of consciousness faces with respect to mental causation. Analysis of mental causation in contemporary philosophy of mind has brought several problems to the fore: the alleged lack (...)
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  34. An exclusion problem for epiphenomenalist dualism.Bradford Saad - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):247-256.
    The chief motivation for epiphenomenalist dualism is its promise to solve dualism’s causal exclusion problem without inducing causal overdetermination or violations of the causal closure of the physical. This paper argues that epiphenomenalist dualism is itself susceptible to an exclusion problem. The problem exploits symmetries of determination and influence generated by a wide class of physical theories. Further, I argue that there is an interference effect between solving epiphenomenalist dualism's exclusion problem and using epiphenomenalist dualism as a solution to the (...)
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  35. Two solutions to the neural discernment problem.Bradford Saad - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2837-2850.
    Interactionists hold that minds are non-physical objects that interact with brains. The neural discernment problem for interactionism is that of explaining how non-physical minds produce behavior and cognition by exercising different causal powers over physiologically similar neurons. This paper sharpens the neural discernment problem and proposes two interactionist models of mind-brain interaction that solve it. One model avoids overdetermination while the other respects the causal closure of the physical domain.
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  36. Interactionism for the discerning mind?Derek Shiller - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):931-946.
    Jaegwon Kim has developed an argument that interactionist dualists cannot account for the causal relations between minds and brains. This paper develops a closely related argument that focuses instead on the causal relations between minds and neurons. While there are several promising responses to Kim’s argument, their plausibility relies on a relatively simple understanding of mind–brain relations. Once we shift our focus to neurons, these responses lose their appeal. The problem is that even if mind–brain causal pairing can be explained (...)
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  37. Neural Synchrony and the Causal Efficacy of Consciousness.David Yates - 2020 - Topoi 39 (5):1057-1072.
    The purpose of this paper is to address a well-known dilemma for physicalism. If mental properties are type identical to physical properties, then their causal efficacy is secure, but at the cost of ruling out mentality in creatures very different to ourselves. On the other hand, if mental properties are multiply realizable, then all kinds of creatures can instantiate them, but then they seem to be causally redundant. The causal exclusion problem depends on the widely held principle that realized properties (...)
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  38. Taking Emergentism Seriously.Lei Zhong - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):31-46.
    The Exclusion Argument has afflicted non-reductionists for decades. In this article, I attempt to show that emergentism—the view that mental entities can downwardly cause physical entities in a non-overdetermining way—is the most plausible approach to solving the exclusion problem. The emergentist approach is largely absent in contemporary philosophy of mind, because emergentism rejects the Causal Closure of Physics, a doctrine embraced by almost all physicalists. This article, however, challenges the consensus on causal closure and defends a physicalist version of emergentism. (...)
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  39. Three Versions of Physical Closure.Lei Zhong - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (4):640-658.
    The Exclusion Argument has been regarded as the most powerful challenge to non-reductive physicalism. This argument presupposes a crucial thesis, Causal Closure of the Physical, which asserts that every physical effect has a sufficient physical cause. Although this thesis is widely accepted in contemporary philosophy of mind, philosophers say surprisingly little about what notion of physical entities should be adopted in the context. In this article, the author distinguishes between three versions of Closure that appeal to a narrow, a moderate, (...)
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  40. How Dualists Should (Not) Respond to the Objection from Energy Conservation.Alin C. Cucu & J. Brian Pitts - 2019 - Mind and Matter 17 (1):95-121.
    The principle of energy conservation is widely taken to be a se- rious difficulty for interactionist dualism (whether property or sub- stance). Interactionists often have therefore tried to make it satisfy energy conservation. This paper examines several such attempts, especially including E. J. Lowe’s varying constants proposal, show- ing how they all miss their goal due to lack of engagement with the physico-mathematical roots of energy conservation physics: the first Noether theorem (that symmetries imply conservation laws), its converse (that conservation (...)
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  41. Causal closure of the physical, mental causation, and physics.Dejan R. Dimitrijević - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-22.
    The argument from causal closure of the physical is usually considered the most powerful argument in favor of the ontological doctrine of physicalism. Many authors, most notably Papineau, assume that CCP implies that physicalism is supported by physics. I demonstrate, however, that physical science has no bias in the ontological debate between proponents of physicalism and dualism. I show that the arguments offered for CCP are effective only against the accounts of mental causation based on the action of the mental (...)
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  42. Causal closure of the physical, mental causation, and physics.Dejan R. Dimitrijević - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-22.
    The argument from causal closure of the physical is usually considered the most powerful argument in favor of the ontological doctrine of physicalism. Many authors, most notably Papineau, assume that CCP implies that physicalism is supported by physics. I demonstrate, however, that physical science has no bias in the ontological debate between proponents of physicalism and dualism. I show that the arguments offered for CCP are effective only against the accounts of mental causation based on the action of the mental (...)
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  43. Vertical versus horizontal: what is really at issue in the exclusion problem?John Donaldson - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1381-1396.
    I outline two ways of reading what is at issue in the exclusion problem faced by non-reductive physicalism, the “vertical” versus “horizontal”, and argue that the vertical reading is to be preferred to the horizontal. I discuss the implications: that those who have pursued solutions to the horizontal reading of the problem have taken a wrong turn.
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  44. Scientific Ontology.Johan Gamper - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (2):99-102.
    The modal properties of the principle of the causal closure of the physical have traditionally been said to prevent anything outside the physical world from affecting the physical universe and vice versa. This idea has been shown to be relative to the definition of the principle. A traditional definition prevents the one universe from affecting any other universe, but with a modified definition, e.g., the causal closure of the physical can be consistent with the possibility of one universe affecting the (...)
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  45. No microphysical causation? No problem: selective causal skepticism and the structure of completeness-based arguments for physicalism.Matthew C. Haug - 2019 - Synthese 196 (3):1187-1208.
    A number of philosophers have argued that causation is not an objective feature of the microphysical world but rather is a perspectival phenomenon that holds only between “coarse-grained” entities such as those that figure in the special sciences. This view seems to pose a problem for arguments for physicalism that rely on the alleged causal completeness of physics. In this paper, I address this problem by arguing that the completeness of physics has two components, only one of which is causal. (...)
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  46. The Metaphysics of Science and Aim-Oriented Empiricism: A Revolution for Science and Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.
    This book gives an account of work that I have done over a period of decades that sets out to solve two fundamental problems of philosophy: the mind-body problem and the problem of induction. Remarkably, these revolutionary contributions to philosophy turn out to have dramatic implications for a wide range of issues outside philosophy itself, most notably for the capacity of humanity to resolve current grave global problems and make progress towards a better, wiser world. A key element of the (...)
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  47. Problems with the "Problems" with psychophysical causation.Noah McKay - 2019 - Stance 12 (1):33-43.
    In this essay, I defend a mind-body dualism, according to which human minds are immaterial substances that exercise non-redundant causal powers over bodies, against the notorious problem of psychophysical causation. I explicate and reply to three formulations of the problem: (i) the claim that, on dualism, psychophysical causation is inconsistent with physical causal closure, (ii) the claim that psychophysical causation on the dualist view is intolerably mysterious, and (iii) Jaegwon Kim’s claim that dualism fails to account for causal pairings. Ultimately, (...)
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  48. Causal Exclusion and Physical Causal Completeness.Dwayne Moore - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (4):479-505.
    Nonreductive physicalists endorse the principle of mental causation, according to which some events have mental causes: Sid climbs the hill because he wants to. Nonreductive physicalists also endorse the principle of physical causal completeness, according to which physical events have sufficient physical causes: Sid climbs the hill because a complex neural process in his brain triggered his climbing. Critics typically level the causal exclusion problem against this nonreductive physicalist model, according to which the physical cause is a sufficient cause of (...)
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  49. Phenomenal knowledge why: the explanatory knowledge argument against physicalism.Hedda Hassel Mørch - 2019 - In Sam Coleman (ed.), The Knowledge Argument. Cambridge University Press.
    Phenomenal knowledge is knowledge of what it is like to be in conscious states, such as seeing red or being in pain. According to the knowledge argument (Jackson 1982, 1986), phenomenal knowledge is knowledge that, i.e., knowledge of phenomenal facts. According to the ability hypothesis (Nemirow 1979; Lewis 1983), phenomenal knowledge is mere practical knowledge how, i.e., the mere possession of abilities. However, some phenomenal knowledge also seems to be knowledge why, i.e., knowledge of explanatory facts. For example, someone who (...)
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  50. Quantum Theory and the Place of Mind in the Causal Order of Things.Paavo Pylkkänen - 2019 - In J. De Barros & Carlos Montemayor (eds.), Quanta and Mind: Essays on the Connection between Quantum Mechanics and the Consciousness. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Publishing Company. pp. 163-171.
    The received view in physicalist philosophy of mind assumes that causation can only take place at the physical domain and that the physical domain is causally closed. It is often thought that this leaves no room for mental states qua mental to have a causal influence upon the physical domain, leading to epiphenomenalism and the problem of mental causation. However, in recent philosophy of causation there has been growing interest in a line of thought that can be called causal antifundamentalism: (...)
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