Causation by relational properties

Grazer Philosophische Studien 65 (1):123-137 (2002)

Abstract

In discussions on mental causation and externalism, it is often assumed that extrinsic, or relational, properties cannot have causal efficacy. In this paper I argue that this assumption is based on a category mistake, in that causal efficacy (dependence among events or states of affairs) is confused with causal influence (persistence of and interaction among objects). I then argue that relational properties are indeed causally efficacious, which I explain with the help of Dretske's notion of a 'structuring cause'

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Emergence Within Social Systems.Kenneth Silver - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7865-7887.

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