Eric Marcus
Auburn University
If a woman in the audience at a presentation raises her hand, we would take this as evidence that she intends to ask a question. In normal circumstances, we would be right to say that she raises her hand because she intends to ask a question. We also expect that there could, in principle, be a causal explanation of her hand’s rising in purely physiological terms. Ordinarily, we take the existence and compatibility of both kinds of causes for granted. But this can come to seem strange. When we imagine tracking the physiological process that culminates in her hand’s rising, it is hard to find a purchase for her intention. The physiological process seems not to need assistance from her intention in order to get where it’s going, chugging along as it does according to principles that appear to have very little in common with ordinary psychological ones. The presumed self-sufficiency of physiological processes can, in a similar fashion, appear to muscle psychological states quite generally out of the causal picture
Keywords Causation  Mental  Metaphysics  Naturalism  Physicalism
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2001.tb00092.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,634
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Mental Causation.David Robb & John Heil - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Mental Causation in a Physical World.Eric Marcus - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 122 (1):27-50.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Mental Causation in a Physical World.Eric Marcus - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 122 (1):27-50.
Physicalism and the Problem of Mental Causation.Robert Buckley - 2001 - Journal of Philosophical Research 26 (January):155-174.
Causal Compatibilism -- What Chance?Jack Ritchie - 2005 - Erkenntnis 63 (1):119-132.
The Mental Causation Debate.Tim Crane - 1995 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 69 (Supplementary):211-36.


Added to PP index

Total views
407 ( #25,266 of 2,533,692 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #199,170 of 2,533,692 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes