The Supervenience Argument, Overdetermination, and Causal Drainage: Assessing Kim’s Master Argument

Philosophical Psychology 21 (5):673 – 696 (2008)

Abstract

This paper examines Jaegwon Kim's Supervenience Argument (SA) against nonreductive physicalism, concentrating on Kim's response to two of the most important objections against the SA: First, the Overdetermination Argument, according to which Kim has no convincing argument against the possibility that mental causation might be a case of genuine or systematic overdetermination; second, the Generalization Argument, according to which the SA would entail that causation at any level gives way to causation at the next lower level, thereby leading to an untenable all-encompassing epiphenomenalism. It is argued that as of yet, Kim has failed to develop a coherent overall position, since various moves he makes in response to these criticisms are strangely at odds with other parts of his philosophical position.

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Sven Walter
Universität Osnabrück

Citations of this work

Interventionist Causal Exclusion and Non‐Reductive Physicalism.Michael Baumgartner - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):161-178.
A Causal Argument for Dualism.Bradford Saad - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2475-2506.
Mental Causation.Sophie Gibb - 2014 - Analysis 74 (2):327-338.
Taking Realization Seriously: No Cure for Epiphobia. [REVIEW]Sven Walter - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):207 - 226.

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