Disproportional mental causation

Synthese 182 (3):375-391 (2011)
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Abstract

In this paper I do three things. First, I argue that Stephen Yablo’s influential account of mental causation is susceptible to counterexamples involving what I call disproportional mental causation. Second, I argue that similar counterexamples can be generated for any alternative account of mental causation that is like Yablo’s in that it takes mental states and their physical realizers to causally compete. Third, I show that there are alternative nonreductive approaches to mental causation which reject the idea of causal competition, and which thus are able to allow for disproportional mental causation. This, I argue, is a significant advantage for such noncompetitive accounts.

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Justin Tiehen
University of Puget Sound

References found in this work

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Mental Events.Donald Davidson - 1970 - In L. Foster & J. W. Swanson (eds.), Experience and Theory. Clarendon Press. pp. 207-224.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Special Sciences.Jerry A. Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97-115.

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