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  1. Why the Counterfactualist Should Still Worry About Downward Causation.Lei Zhong - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (1):159-171.
    In Zhong (Philos Phenomenol Res 83:129–147, 2011; Analysis 72:75–85, 2012), I argued that, contrary to what many people might expect, the counterfactual theory of causation will generate (rather than solve) the exclusion problem. Recently some philosophers raise an incisive objection to this argument. They contend that my argument fails as it equivocates between different notions of a physical realizer (see Christensen and Kallestrup in Analysis 72:513–517, 2012). However, I find that their criticism doesn’t threaten the central idea of my view. (...)
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  • Can Counterfactuals Solve the Exclusion Problem?Lei Zhong - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):129-147.
    A quite popular approach to solving the Causal Exclusion Problem is to adopt a counterfactual theory of causation. In this paper, I distinguish three versions of the Causal Exclusion Argument. I argue that the counterfactualist approach can block the first two exclusion arguments, because the Causal Inheritance Principle and the Upward Causation Principle upon which the two arguments are based respectively are problematic from the perspective of the counterfactual account of causation. However, I attempt to show that the counterfactualist approach (...)
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  • Overdetermination, Counterfactuals, and Mental Causation.Chiwook Won - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (2):205-229.
    The overdetermination problem has long been raised as a challenge to nonreductive physicalism. Nonreductive physicalists have, in various ways, tried to resolve the problem through appeal to counterfactuals. This essay does two things. First, it takes up the question whether counterfactuals can yield an appropriate notion of causal redundancy and argues for a negative answer. Second, it examines how this issue bears on the mental causation debate. In particular, it considers the argument that the overdetermination problem simply does not arise (...)
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  • 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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  • The Individuation of Causal Powers by Events (and Consequences of the Approach).Brandon N. Towl - 2010 - Metaphysica 11 (1):49-61.
    In this paper, I explore the notion of a “causal power”, particularly as it is relevant to a theory of properties whereby properties are individuated by the causal powers they bestow on the objects that instantiate them. I take as my target certain eliminativist positions that argue that certain kinds of properties (or relations) do not exist because they fail to bestow unique causal powers on objects. But the notion of a causal powers is inextricably bound up with our notion (...)
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  • Mental Causation and the Paradoxes of Explanation.Karsten R. Stueber - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 122 (3):243-77.
    In this paper I will discuss Kims powerful explanatory exclusion argument against the causal efficacy of mental properties. Baker and Burge misconstrue Kims challenge if they understand it as being based on a purely metaphysical understanding of causation that has no grounding in an epistemological analysis of our successful scientific practices. As I will show, the emphasis on explanatory practices can only be effective in answering Kim if it is understood as being part of the dual-explanandum strategy. Furthermore, a fundamental (...)
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  • Nonreductive Individualism: Part I—Supervenience and Wild Disjunction.R. Keith Sawyer - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):537-559.
    The author draws on arguments from contemporary philosophy of mind to provide an argument for sociological collectivism. This argument for nonreductive individualism accepts that only individuals exist but rejects methodological individualism. In Part I, the author presents the argument for nonreductive individualism by working through the implications of supervenience, multiple realizability, and wild disjunction in some detail. In Part II, he extends the argument to provide a defense for social causal laws, and this account of social causation does not require (...)
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  • Nonreductive Individualism Part II—Social Causation.R. Keith Sawyer - 2003 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (2):203-224.
    In Part I, the author argued for nonreductive individualism (NRI), an account of the individual-collective relation that is ontologically individualist yet rejects methodological individualism. However, because NRI is ontologically individualist, social entities and properties would seem to be only analytic constructs, and if so, they would seem to be epiphenomenal, since only real things can have causal power. In general, a nonreductionist account is a relatively weak defense of sociological explanation if it cannot provide an account of how social properties (...)
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  • Kim’s Dilemma: Why Mental Causation is Not Productive.Andrew Russo - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2185-2203.
    Loewer has argued that the nonreductive physicalist should respond to the exclusion problem by endorsing the overdetermination entailed by their view. Kim’s argument against this reply is based on the premise that mental causation must be a productive relation in order to sustain human agency. In this paper, I challenge the premise that mental causation is a productive relation by appealing to the underlying double prevention structure of the physiological mechanisms of human action. Since the causal pathways from an agent’s (...)
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  • Functionalism, Mental Causation, and the Problem of Metaphysically Necessary Effects.Robert D. Rupert - 2006 - Noûs 40 (2):256-83.
    The recent literature on mental causation has not been kind to nonreductive, materialist functionalism (‘functionalism’, hereafter, except where that term is otherwise qualified). The exclusion problem2 has done much of the damage, but the epiphenomenalist threat has taken other forms. Functionalism also faces what I will call the ‘problem of metaphysically necessary effects’ (Block, 1990, pp. 157-60, Antony and Levine, 1997, pp. 91-92, Pereboom, 2002, p. 515, Millikan, 1999, p. 47, Jackson, 1998, pp. 660-61). Functionalist mental properties are individuated partly (...)
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  • What to Say to a Skeptical Metaphysician: A Defense Manual for Cognitive and Behavioral Scientists.Don Ross & David Spurrett - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):603-627.
    A wave of recent work in metaphysics seeks to undermine the anti-reductionist, functionalist consensus of the past few decades in cognitive science and philosophy of mind. That consensus apparently legitimated a focus on what systems do, without necessarily and always requiring attention to the details of how systems are constituted. The new metaphysical challenge contends that many states and processes referred to by functionalist cognitive scientists are epiphenomenal. It further contends that the problem lies in functionalism itself, and that, to (...)
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  • Causal Overdetermination and Kim’s Exclusion Argument.Michael Roche - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):809-826.
    Jaegwon Kim’s influential exclusion argument attempts to demonstrate the inconsistency of nonreductive materialism in the philosophy of mind. Kim’s argument begins by showing that the three main theses of nonreductive materialism, plus two additional considerations, lead to a specific and familiar picture of mental causation. The exclusion argument can succeed only if, as Kim claims, this picture is not one of genuine causal overdetermination. Accordingly, one can resist Kim’s conclusion by denying this claim, maintaining instead that the effects of the (...)
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  • Mental Causation, Compatibilism and Counterfactuals.Dwayne Moore - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):20-42.
    According to proponents of the causal exclusion problem, there cannot be a sufficient physical cause and a distinct mental cause of the same piece of behaviour. Increasingly, the causal exclusion problem is circumvented via this compatibilist reasoning: a sufficient physical cause of the behavioural effect necessitates the mental cause of the behavioural effect, so the effect has a sufficient physical cause and a mental cause as well. In this paper, I argue that this compatibilist reply fails to resolve the causal (...)
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  • Functional Reduction and Mental Causation.Dwayne Moore & Neil Campbell - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (4):435-446.
    Over the past few decades, Jaegwon Kim has argued that non-reductive physicalism is an inherently unstable position. In his view, the most serious problem is that non-reductive physicalism leads to type epiphenomenalism—the causal inefficacy of mental properties. Kim suggests that we can salvage mental causation by endorsing functional reduction. Given the fact that Kim’s goal in formulating functional reduction is to provide a robust account of mental causation it would be surprising if his position implies eliminativism about mental properties or (...)
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  • Mental Causation as Multiple Causation.Thomas Kroedel - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (1):125-143.
    The paper argues that mental causation can be explained from the sufficiency of counterfactual dependence for causation together with relatively weak assumptions about the metaphysics of mind. If a physical event counterfactually depends on an earlier physical event, it also counterfactually depends on, and hence is caused by, a mental event that correlates with (or supervenes on) this earlier physical event, provided that this correlation (or supervenience) is sufficiently modally robust. This account of mental causation is consistent with the overdetermination (...)
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  • Nonreductive Individualism. Part I—Supervenience and Wild Disjunction.Sawyer R. Keith - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):537-559.
    The author draws on arguments from contemporary philosophy of mind to provide an argument for sociological collectivism. This argument for nonreductive individualism accepts that only individuals exist but rejects methodological individualism. In Part I, the author presents the argument for nonreductive individualism by working through the implications of supervenience, multiple realizability, and wild disjunction in some detail. In Part II, he extends the argument to provide a defense for social causal laws, and this account of social causation does not require (...)
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  • The Causal Exclusion Argument.Jesper Kallestrup - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (2):459-485.
    Jaegwon Kim's causal exclusion argument says that if all physical effects have sufficient physical causes, and no physical effects are caused twice over by distinct physical and mental causes, there cannot be any irreducible mental causes. In addition, Kim has argued that the nonreductive physicalist must give up completeness, and embrace the possibility of downward causation. This paper argues first that this extra argument relies on a principle of property individuation, which the nonreductive physicalist need not accept, and second that (...)
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  • Kim on the Mind—Body Problem. [REVIEW]Terence Horgan - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):579-607.
    For three decades the writings of Jaegwon Kim have had a major influence in philosophy of mind and in metaphysics. Sixteen of his philosophical papers, together with several new postscripts, are collected in Kim [1993]. The publication of this collection prompts the present essay. After some preliminary remarks in the opening section, in Section 2 I will briefly describe Kim's philosophical 'big picture' about the relation between the mental and the physical. In Section 3 I will situate Kim's approach on (...)
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  • Mental Causation and the Agent-Exclusion Problem.Terry Horgan - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (2):183-200.
    The hypothesis of the mental state-causation of behavior asserts that the behaviors we classify as actions are caused by certain mental states. A principal reason often given for trying to secure the truth of the MSC hypothesis is that doing so is allegedly required to vindicate our belief in our own agency. I argue that the project of vindicating agency needs to be seriously reconceived, as does the relation between this project and the MSC hypothesis. Vindication requires addressing what I (...)
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  • Two Kinds of Completeness and the Uses (and Abuses) of Exclusion Principles.Matthew C. Haug - 2009 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):379-401.
    I argue that the completeness of physics is composed of two distinct claims. The first is the commonly made claim that, roughly, every physical event is completely causally determined by physical events. The second has rarely, if ever, been explicitly stated in the literature and is the claim that microphysics provides a complete inventory of the fundamental categories that constitute both the causal features and intrinsic nature of all the events that causally affect the physical universe. After showing that these (...)
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  • The Exclusion Problem Meets the Problem of Many Causes.Matthew C. Haug - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (1):55-65.
    In this paper I develop a novel response to the exclusion problem. I argue that the nature of the events in the causally complete physical domain raises the “problem of many causes”: there will typically be countless simultaneous low-level physical events in that domain that are causally sufficient for any given high-level physical event. This shows that even reductive physicalists must admit that the version of the exclusion principle used to pose the exclusion problem against non-reductive physicalism is too strong. (...)
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  • Varieties of Multiple Antecedent Cause.Jeff Engelhardt - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (3):231-246.
    A great deal has been written over the past decade defending ‘higher-level’ causes by arguing that overdetermination is more complex than many philosophers initially thought. Although two shooters overdetermine the death of a firing squad victim, a baseball and its parts do not overdetermine the breaking of a window. But while these analyses of overdetermination have no doubt been fruitful, the focus on overdetermination—while ignoring other varieties of causal relation—has limited the discussion. Many of the cases of interest resemble joint (...)
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  • Vertical Versus Horizontal: What is Really at Issue in the Exclusion Problem?John Donaldson - 2019 - Synthese (2):1-16.
    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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  • Crimson Brain, Red Mind: Yablo on Mental Causation.Edward T. Cox - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (1):77–99.
    Stephen Yablo offers a solution to the problem of mental causation by claiming that the physical is a determinate of the mental's determinable, and therefore the mental and physical do not compete for causal relevance. I present Yablo's solution and argue that the mental‐physical relation cannot meet three necessary conditions for determination. That relation fails to meet the requirements that determinates of the same determinable be incompatible and that no property can be a determinate of more than one determinable. Further, (...)
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  • Crimson Brain, Red Mind: Yablo on Mental Causation.Edward T. Cox - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (1):77-99.
    Stephen Yablo offers a solution to the problem of mental causation by claiming that the physical is a determinate of the mental's determinable, and therefore the mental and physical do not compete for causal relevance. I present Yablo's solution and argue that the mental‐physical relation cannot meet three necessary conditions for determination. That relation fails to meet the requirements that determinates of the same determinable be incompatible and that no property can be a determinate of more than one determinable. Further, (...)
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  • Emerging From the Causal Drain.Richard Corry - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):29-47.
    For over 20 years, Jaegwon Kim’s Causal Exclusion Argument has stood as the major hurdle for non-reductive physicalism. If successful, Kim’s argument would show that the high-level properties posited by non-reductive physicalists must either be identical with lower-level physical properties, or else must be causally inert. The most prominent objection to the Causal Exclusion Argument—the so-called Overdetermination Objection—points out that there are some notions of causation that are left untouched by the argument. If causation is simply counterfactual dependence, for example, (...)
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  • The Correlation Argument for Reductionism.Christopher Clarke - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (1):76-97.
    Reductionists say things like: all mental properties are physical properties; all normative properties are natural properties. I argue that the only way to resist reductionism is to deny that causation is difference making (thus making the epistemology of causation a mystery) or to deny that properties are individuated by their causal powers (thus making properties a mystery). That is to say, unless one is happy to deny supervenience, or to trivialize the debate over reductionism. To show this, I argue that (...)
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  • 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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  • Why the Exclusion Problem Seems Intractable and How, Just Maybe, to Tract It.Karen Bennett - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):471-97.
    The basic form of the exclusion problem is by now very, very familiar. 2 Start with the claim that the physical realm is causally complete: every physical thing that happens has a sufficient physical cause. Add in the claim that the mental and the physical are distinct. Toss in some claims about overdetermination, give it a stir, and voilá—suddenly it looks as though the mental never causes anything, at least nothing physical. As it is often put, the physical does all (...)
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  • Immense Multiple Realization.Anders Strand - 2007 - Metaphysica 8 (1):61-78.
    In his latest book Physicalism, or Something near Enough, Jaegwon Kim argues that his version of functional reductionism is the most promising way for saving mental causation. I argue, on the other hand, that there is an internal tension in his position: Functional reductionism does not save mental causation if Kim’s own supervenience argument is sound. My line of reasoning has the following steps: (1) I discuss the supervenience argument and I explain how it motivates Kim’s functional reductionism; (2) I (...)
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  • Excluding the Problem: Bennett on Counterfactual Tests and Backtracking.Katelyn Hallman - 2016 - Florida Philosophical Review 16 (1):41-55.
    In this paper, I explain and assess Karen Bennett’s solution to the exclusion problem. I begin by explaining and motivating Bennett’s formulation of the exclusion problem. Bennett’s formulation of the problem is unique in that it’s not a pointed argument against any one particular view; rather, her formulation sets up the problem as a set of inconsistent claims, at least one of which must be denied to remove the inconsistency. I then explain and motivate Bennett’s solution. Bennett creates a counterfactual (...)
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  • The Super-Overdetermination Problem.John Donaldson - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    I examine the debate between reductive and non-reductive physicalists, and conclude that if we are to be physicalists, then we should be reductive physicalists. I assess how both reductionists and non-reductionists try to solve the mind-body problem and the problem of mental causation. I focus on the problem of mental causation as it is supposed to be faced by non-reductionism: the so-called overdetermination problem. I argue that the traditional articulation of that problem is significantly flawed, and I show how to (...)
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  • Mental Causation and the New Compatibilism.Jens Harbecke - 2013 - Abstracta 7 (1).
    Twenty years ago Stephen Yablo developed his original theory of mental causation, which has drawn much attention ever since. By providing a detailed reconstruction of Yablo’s approach, this paper first demonstrates that a certain line of critique that has repeatedly been brought forward against Yablo over the last two decades misconstrues the core idea of the model. At the same time, the reconstruction reveals that Yablo’s approach is probably the first explicit version of the “new compatibilism” within the philosophy of (...)
     
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