Interventionist Causal Exclusion and Non‐reductive Physicalism

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):161-178 (2009)
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The first part of this paper presents an argument showing that the currently most highly acclaimed interventionist theory of causation, i.e. the one advanced by Woodward, excludes supervening macro properties from having a causal influence on effects of their micro supervenience bases. Moreover, this interventionist exclusion argument is demonstrated to rest on weaker premises than classical exclusion arguments. The second part then discusses a weakening of interventionism that Woodward suggests. This weakened version of interventionism turns out either to be inapplicable to cases of downward causation involving supervening macro properties or to render corresponding causal claims meaningless. In sum, the paper argues that, contrary to what many non-reductive physicalists claim, interventionism does not render non-reductive physicalism immune to the problem of causal exclusion



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Michael Baumgartner
Bergen University

Citations of this work

Interventionism and Causal Exclusion.James Woodward - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2):303-347.
Causal Exclusion and Causal Bayes Nets.Alexander Gebharter - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):353-375.
Interventionism and Epiphenomenalsim.Michael Baumgartner - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):359-383.

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Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Princeton University Press.
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Mental causation.Stephen Yablo - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.
A New Introduction to Modal Logic.M. J. Cresswell & G. E. Hughes - 1996 - New York: Routledge. Edited by M. J. Cresswell.

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