Philosophia 41 (4):1149-1158 (2013)

Neil Campbell
Wilfrid Laurier University
Ever since Davidson first articulated and defended anomalous monism, nonreductive physicalists have struggled with the problem of mental causation. Considerations about the causal closure of the physical domain and related principles about exclusion make it very difficult to maintain the distinctness of mental and physical properties while securing a causal role for the former. Recently, philosophers have turned their attention to the underlying metaphysics and ontology of the mental causation debate to gain traction on this issue. Cynthia MacDonald and Graham MacDonald have followed suit and argue that the solution to the nonreductivist’s troubles lies in a particular metaphysical view of events. They claim that an appropriately formulated property exemplification account of events resolves the problem and secures the causal relevance of mental properties. I argue that while this approach might get us the causal efficacy of mental events, it does not provide the sought-after causal relevance of mental properties. I show that the reason MacDonald and MacDonald stumble on the problem of causal relevance is—ironically—due to features of their view of events
Keywords Mental causation  Exclusion  Events  Property exemplification  Supervenience  Epiphenomenalism
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-013-9457-y
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References found in this work BETA

Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Princeton University Press.
Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):306-310.
Events as Property Exemplifications.Jaegwon Kim - 1976 - In M. Brand & D. Walton (eds.), Action Theory. D. Reidel. pp. 310-326.

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