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  1. Chalmers' Blueprint of the World.Panu Raatikainen - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (1):113-128.
    A critical notice of David J. Chalmers, Constructing the World (Oxford University Press,2012).
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  • Causal Explanation in Psychiatry.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2019 - In Şerife Tekin & Robyn Bluhm (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophy of Psychiatry. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
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  • Antireductionist Interventionism.Reuben Stern & Benjamin Eva - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Kim’s causal exclusion argument purports to demonstrate that the non-reductive physicalist must treat mental properties (and macro-level properties in general) as causally inert. A number of authors have attempted to resist Kim’s conclusion by utilizing the conceptual resources of Woodward’s (2005) interventionist conception of causation. The viability of these responses has been challenged by Gebharter (2017a), who argues that the causal exclusion argument is vindicated by the theory of causal Bayesian networks (CBNs). Since the interventionist conception of causation relies crucially (...)
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  • The Problem of Granularity for Scientific Explanation.David Kinney - 2019 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
    This dissertation aims to determine the optimal level of granularity for the variables used in probabilistic causal models. These causal models are useful for generating explanations in a number of scientific contexts. In Chapter 1, I argue that there is rarely a unique level of granularity at which a given phenomenon can be causally explained, thereby rejecting various causal exclusion arguments. In Chapter 2, I consider several recent proposals for measuring the explanatory power of causal explanations, and show that these (...)
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  • Metaphysical Causation.Alastair Wilson - 2018 - Noûs 52 (4):723-751.
    There is a systematic and suggestive analogy between grounding and causation. In my view, this analogy is no coincidence. Grounding and causation are alike because grounding is a type of causation: metaphysical causation. In this paper I defend the identification of grounding with metaphysical causation, drawing on the causation literature to explore systematic connections between grounding and metaphysical dependence counterfactuals, and I outline a non-reductive counterfactual theory of grounding along interventionist lines.
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  • Experiments on Causal Exclusion.Thomas Blanchard, Dylan Murray & Tania Lombrozo - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  • Causal Exclusion and Physical Causal Completeness.Dwayne Moore - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (4):479-505.
    Nonreductive physicalists endorse the principle of mental causation, according to which some events have mental causes: Sid climbs the hill because he wants to. Nonreductive physicalists also endorse the principle of physical causal completeness, according to which physical events have sufficient physical causes: Sid climbs the hill because a complex neural process in his brain triggered his climbing. Critics typically level the causal exclusion problem against this nonreductive physicalist model, according to which the physical cause is a sufficient cause of (...)
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  • Should Reductive Physicalists Reject the Causal Argument?Bradford Saad - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (2):263-279.
    Reductive physicalists typically accept the causal argument for their view. On this score, Tiehen parts ways with his fellow reductive physicalists. Heretically, he argues that reductive physicalists should reject the causal argument. After presenting Tiehen's challenge, I defend the orthodoxy. Although not myself a reductive physicalist, I show how reductive physicalists can resist this challenge to the causal argument. I conclude with a positive suggestion about how reductive physicalists should use the causal argument.
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  • Contrastive Mental Causation.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 3):861-883.
    Any theory of mind needs to explain mental causation. Kim’s exclusion argument concludes that non-reductive physicalism cannot meet this challenge. One classic reply is that mental properties capture the causally relevant level of generality, because they are insensitive to physical realization. However, this reply suggests downward exclusion, contrary to physicalism’s assumption of closure. This paper shows how non-reductive physicalists can solve this problem by introducing a contrastive account of causation with non-exhaustive contrasts. That view has independent justification, because it is (...)
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  • Vertical Versus Horizontal: What is Really at Issue in the Exclusion Problem?John Donaldson - 2019 - Synthese (2):1-16.
    I outline two ways of reading what is at issue in the exclusion problem faced by non-reductive physicalism, the “vertical” versus “horizontal”, and argue that the vertical reading is to be preferred to the horizontal. I discuss the implications: that those who have pursued solutions to the horizontal reading of the problem have taken a wrong turn.
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  • Interventionist Causal Exclusion and Non‐Reductive Physicalism.Michael Baumgartner - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):161-178.
    The first part of this paper presents an argument showing that the currently most highly acclaimed interventionist theory of causation, i.e. the one advanced by Woodward, excludes supervening macro properties from having a causal influence on effects of their micro supervenience bases. Moreover, this interventionist exclusion argument is demonstrated to rest on weaker premises than classical exclusion arguments. The second part then discusses a weakening of interventionism that Woodward suggests. This weakened version of interventionism turns out either to be inapplicable (...)
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  • Mental Causation.Sophie Gibb - 2014 - Analysis 74 (2):327-338.
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  • Does the Exclusion Argument Put Any Pressure on Dualism?Daniel Stoljar & Christian List - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):96-108.
    The exclusion argument is widely thought to put considerable pressure on dualism if not to refute it outright. We argue to the contrary that, whether or not their position is ultimately true, dualists have a plausible response. The response focuses on the notion of ‘distinctness’ as it occurs in the argument: if 'distinctness' is understood one way, the exclusion principle on which the argument is founded can be denied by the dualist; if it is understood another way, the argument is (...)
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  • Against Proportionality.Lawrence A. Shapiro & Elliott Sober - 2012 - Analysis 72 (1):89-93.
    A statement of the form ‘C caused E’ obeys the requirement of proportionality precisely when C says no more than what is necessary to bring about E. The thesis that causal statements must obey this requirement might be given a semantic or a pragmatic justification. We use the idea that causal claims are contrastive to criticize both.
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  • The Causal Relevance of Content to Computation.Michael Rescorla - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):173-208.
    Many philosophers worry that the classical computational theory of mind (CTM) engenders epiphenomenalism. Building on Block’s (1990) discussion, I formulate a particularly troubling version of this worry. I then present a novel solution to CTM’s epiphenomenalist conundrum. I develop my solution within an interventionist theory of causal relevance. My solution departs substantially from orthodox versions of CTM. In particular, I reject the widespread picture of digital computation as formal syntactic manipulation.1.
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  • Proportionality, Contrast and Explanation.Brad Weslake - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):785-797.
    If counterfactual dependence is sufficient for causation and if omissions can be causes, then all events have many more causes than common sense tends to recognize. This problem is standardly addressed by appeal to pragmatics. However, Carolina Sartorio [2010] has recently raised what I shall argue is a more interesting problem concerning omissions for counterfactual theories of causation—more interesting because it demands a more subtle pragmatic solution. I discuss the relationship between the idea that causes are proportional to their effects, (...)
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  • Interventionism and Higher-Level Causation.Vera Hoffman-Kolss - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (1):49-64.
    Several authors have recently claimed that the notorious causal exclusion problem, according to which higher-level causes are threatened with causal pre-emption by lower-level causes, can be avoided if causal relevance is understood in terms of Woodward's interventionist account of causation. They argue that if causal relevance is defined in interventionist terms, there are cases where only higher-level properties, but not the lower-level properties underlying them, qualify as causes of a certain effect. In this article, I show that the line of (...)
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  • Taking Emergentism Seriously.Lei Zhong - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):31-46.
    The Exclusion Argument has afflicted non-reductionists for decades. In this article, I attempt to show that emergentism—the view that mental entities can downwardly cause physical entities in a non-overdetermining way—is the most plausible approach to solving the exclusion problem. The emergentist approach is largely absent in contemporary philosophy of mind, because emergentism rejects the Causal Closure of Physics, a doctrine embraced by almost all physicalists. This article, however, challenges the consensus on causal closure and defends a physicalist version of emergentism. (...)
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  • The Inherent Empirical Underdetermination of Mental Causation.Michael Baumgartner - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):335-350.
    It has become a popular view among non-reductive physicalists that it is possible to devise empirical tests generating evidence for the causal efficacy of the mental, whereby the exclusion worries that have haunted the position of non-reductive physicalism for decades can be dissolved once and for all. This paper aims to show that these evidentialist hopes are vain. I argue that, if the mental is taken to supervene non-reductively on the physical, there cannot exist empirical evidence for its causal efficacy. (...)
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  • Interventionism and Causal Exclusion.James Woodward - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2):303-347.
    A number of writers, myself included, have recently argued that an “interventionist” treatment of causation of the sort defended in Woodward, 2003 can be used to cast light on so-called “causal exclusion” arguments. This interventionist treatment of causal exclusion has in turn been criticized by other philosophers. This paper responds to these criticisms. It describes an interventionist framework for thinking about causal relationships when supervenience relations are present. I contend that this framework helps us to see that standard arguments for (...)
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  • Causation, Exclusion, and the Special Sciences.Panu Raatikainen - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):349-363.
    The issue of downward causation (and mental causation in particular), and the exclusion problem is discussed by taking into account some recent advances in the philosophy of science. The problem is viewed from the perspective of the new interventionist theory of causation developed by Woodward. It is argued that from this viewpoint, a higher-level (e.g., mental) state can sometimes truly be causally relevant, and moreover, that the underlying physical state which realizes it may fail to be such.
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  • Explanatory Autonomy: The Role of Proportionality, Stability, and Conditional Irrelevance.James Woodward - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):1-29.
    This paper responds to recent criticisms of the idea that true causal claims, satisfying a minimal “interventionist” criterion for causation, can differ in the extent to which they satisfy other conditions—called stability and proportionality—that are relevant to their use in explanatory theorizing. It reformulates the notion of proportionality so as to avoid problems with previous formulations. It also introduces the notion of conditional independence or irrelevance, which I claim is central to understanding the respects and the extent to which upper (...)
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  • Causal Exclusion and the Limits of Proportionality.Neil McDonnell - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1459-1474.
    Causal exclusion arguments are taken to threaten the autonomy of the special sciences, and the causal efficacy of mental properties. A recent line of response to these arguments has appealed to “independently plausible” and “well grounded” theories of causation to rebut key premises. In this paper I consider two papers which proceed in this vein and show that they share a common feature: they both require causes to be proportional to their effects. I argue that this feature is a bug, (...)
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  • Your Brain as the Source of Free Will Worth Wanting: Understanding Free Will in the Age of Neuroscience.Eddy Nahmias - forthcoming - In Gregg Caruso & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.
    Philosophical debates about free will have focused on determinism—a potential ‘threat from behind’ because determinism entails that there are conditions in the distant past that, in accord with the laws of nature, are sufficient for all of our decisions. Neuroscience is consistent with indeterminism, so it is better understood as posing a ‘threat from below’: If our decision-making processes are carried out by neural processes, then it might seem that our decisions are not based on our prior conscious deliberations or (...)
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  • Naturalism.David Papineau - 2007 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The term ‘naturalism’ has no very precise meaning in contemporary philosophy. Its current usage derives from debates in America in the first half of the last century. The self-proclaimed ‘naturalists’ from that period included John Dewey, Ernest Nagel, Sidney Hook and Roy Wood Sellars. These philosophers aimed to ally philosophy more closely with science. They urged that reality is exhausted by nature, containing nothing ‘supernatural’, and that the scientific method should be used to investigate all areas of reality, including the (...)
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  • Chalmersin argumentti materialismia vastaan.Panu Raatikainen - 2018 - Ajatus 75:401-444.
    Artikkelissa tarkastellaan perusteellisesti ja kriittisesti David Chalmersin vaikutusvaltaista fenomenaaliseen tietoisuuden liittyvää argumenttia materialismia vastaan. Argumentissa tunnistetaan useampikin kuin yksi heikko lenkki.
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  • The Strong Emergence of Molecular Structure.Vanessa A. Seifert - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-25.
    One of the most plausible and widely discussed examples of strong emergence is molecular structure. The only detailed account of it, which has been very influential, is due to Robin Hendry and is formulated in terms of downward causation. This paper explains Hendry’s account of the strong emergence of molecular structure and argues that it is coherent only if one assumes a diachronic reflexive notion of downward causation. However, in the context of this notion of downward causation, the strong emergence (...)
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  • Troubles with the Canberra Plan.Panu Raatikainen - 2020 - Synthese 1.
    A popular approach in philosophy, the so-called Canberra Plan, is critically scrutinized. Two aspects of this research program, the formal and the informal program, are distinguished. It is argued that the formal program runs up against certain serious technical problems. It is also argued that the informal program involves an unclear leap at its core. Consequently, it is argued that the whole program is much more problematic than its advocates recognize.
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  • Group Agency, Responsibility, and Control.Anders Strand - 2013 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (2):201-224.
    Understanding how individual agency and group agency relate is of great importance for a range of philosophical and practical concerns, including responsibility ascription and institutional design. This article discusses the relation between corporate and individual responsibility in agency—in particular, the relation between corporate and individual control of actions. First, I criticize Christian List and Philip Pettit’s causal account of combined corporate and individual control. Second, I develop an alternative account in terms of structural control, and I show how this gives (...)
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  • Structural Problems for Reductionism.Stephan Leuenberger - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3571-3593.
    Universal reductionism—the sort of project pursued by Carnap in the Aufbau, Lewis in his campaign on behalf of Humean supervenience, Jackson in From Metaphysics to Ethics, and Chalmers in Constructing the World—aims to reduce everything to some specified base, more or less austere as it may be. In this paper, I identify two constraints that a promising strategy to argue for universal reductionism needs to satisfy: the exhaustion constraint and the chaining constraint. As a case study, I then consider Chalmers’ (...)
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  • The Analytical Micro–Macro Relationship in Social Science and Its Implications for the Individualism-Holism Debate.Gustav Ramström - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (5):474-500.
    This article argues that the tradition within the individualism-holism debate of importing arguments from the micro–macro discussion in other disciplines significantly has hampered our understanding of the “individual-social” relationship. While, for example, the “neural-mental” and “atomic-molecular” links represent empirical “gives rise to” relationships, in the social sciences the micro–macro link is a purely analytical “qualifies as” type of relationship. This disanalogy is important, since it has significant implications for the individualism-holism debate: it implies a phenomenally monist social ontology and it (...)
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  • Why Incompatibilism About Mental Causation is Incompatible with Non-Reductive Physicalism.Jonas Christensen & Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    The exclusion problem is meant to show that non-reductive physicalism leads to epiphenomenalism: if mental properties are not identical with physical properties, then they are not causally efficacious. Defenders of a difference-making account of causation suggest that the exclusion problem can be solved because mental properties can be difference-making causes of physical effects. Here, we focus on what we dub an incompatibilist implementation of this general strategy and argue against it from a non-reductive physicalist perspective. Specifically, we argue that incompatibilism (...)
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  • Causal Exclusion Without Causal Sufficiency.Bram Vaassen - 2020 - Synthese:1-13.
    Some non-reductionists claim that so-called ‘exclusion arguments’ against their position rely on a notion of causal sufficiency that is particularly problematic. I argue that such concerns about the role of causal sufficiency in exclusion arguments are relatively superficial since exclusionists can address them by reformulating exclusion arguments in terms of physical sufficiency. The resulting exclusion arguments still face familiar problems, but these are not related to the choice between causal sufficiency and physical sufficiency. The upshot is that objections to the (...)
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  • A Simple Argument for Downward Causation.Thomas Kroedel - 2015 - Synthese 192 (3):841-858.
    Instances of many supervenient properties have physical effects. In particular, instances of mental properties have physical effects if non-reductive physicalism is true. This follows by a straightforward argument that assumes a counterfactual criterion for causation. The paper presents that argument and discusses several issues that arise from it. In particular, the paper addresses the worry that the argument shows too many supervenient property-instances to have physical effects. The argument is also compared to a similar argument that has been suggested by (...)
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  • Norms and Customs: Causally Important or Causally Impotent?Todd Jones - 2010 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (3):399-432.
    In this article, I argue that norms and customs, despite frequently being described as being causes of behavior in the social sciences and ordinary conversation, cannot really cause behavior. Terms like "norms" and the like seem to refer to philosophically disreputable disjunctive properties. More problematically, even if they do not, or even if there can be disjunctive properties after all, I argue that norms and customs still cannot cause behavior. The social sciences would be better off without referring to properties (...)
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  • From Neuroscience to Law: Bridging the Gap.Tuomas K. Pernu & Nadine Elzein - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Since our moral and legal judgments are focused on our decisions and actions, one would expect information about the neural underpinnings of human decision-making and action-production to have a significant bearing on those judgments. However, despite the wealth of empirical data, and the public attention it has attracted in the past few decades, the results of neuroscientific research have had relatively little influence on legal practice. It is here argued that this is due, at least partly, to the discussion on (...)
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  • Can Reasons and Values Influence Action: How Might Intentional Agency Work Physiologically?Raymond Noble & Denis Noble - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-19.
    In this paper, we demonstrate how harnessing stochasticity can be the basis of creative agency; that such harnessing can resolve the apparent conflict between reductionist accounts of behaviour and behaviour as the outcome of rational and value-driven decisions; how neurophysiological processes can instantiate such behaviour; The processes involved depend on three features of living organisms: they are necessarily open systems; micro-level systems therefore nest within higher-level systems; causal interactions must occur across all the boundaries between the levels of organization. The (...)
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  • Mental Causation and Exclusion: Why the Difference-Making Account of Causation is No Help.José Luis Bermúdez & Arnon Cahen - 2015 - Humana Mente 8 (29).
    Peter Menzies has developed a novel version of the exclusion principle that he claims to be compatible with the possibility of mental causation. Menzies proposes to frame the exclusion principle in terms of a difference-making account of causation, understood in counterfactual terms. His new exclusion principle appears in two formulations: upwards exclusion — which is the familiar case in which a realizing event causally excludes the event that it realizes — and, more interestingly, downward exclusion, in which an event causally (...)
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  • Causal After All : A Model of Mental Causation for Dualists.Bram Vaassen - 2019 - Dissertation, Umeå University
    In this dissertation, I develop and defend a model of causation that allows for dualist mental causation in worlds where the physical domain is physically complete. In Part I, I present the dualist ontology that will be assumed throughout the thesis and identify two challenges for models of mental causation within such an ontology: the exclusion worry and the common cause worry. I also argue that a proper response to these challenges requires a thoroughly lightweight account of causation, i.e. an (...)
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  • Delegated Causality of Complex Systems.Raimundas Vidunas - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (1):81-97.
    A notion of delegated causality is introduced here. This subtle kind of causality is dual to interventional causality. Delegated causality elucidates the causal role of dynamical systems at the “edge of chaos”, explicates evident cases of downward causation, and relates emergent phenomena to Gödel’s incompleteness theorem. Apparently rich implications are noticed in biology and Chinese philosophy. The perspective of delegated causality supports cognitive interpretations of self-organization and evolution.
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  • Collective Responsibility Gaps.Stephanie Collins - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):943-954.
    Which kinds of responsibility can we attribute to which kinds of collective, and why? In contrast, which kinds of collective responsibility can we not attribute—which kinds are ‘gappy’? This study provides a framework for answering these questions. It begins by distinguishing between three kinds of collective and three kinds of responsibility. It then explains how gaps—i.e. cases where we cannot attribute the responsibility we might want to—appear to arise within each type of collective responsibility. It argues some of these gaps (...)
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  • The Causal Autonomy of the Special Sciences.Peter Menzies & Christian List - 2010 - In Cynthia McDonald & Graham McDonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 108-129.
    The systems studied in the special sciences are often said to be causally autonomous, in the sense that their higher-level properties have causal powers that are independent of the causal powers of their more basic physical properties. This view was espoused by the British emergentists, who claimed that systems achieving a certain level of organizational complexity have distinctive causal powers that emerge from their constituent elements but do not derive from them. More recently, non-reductive physicalists have espoused a similar view (...)
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  • Do Customs Compete with Conditioning? Turf Battles and Division of Labor in Social Explanation.Todd Jones - 2012 - Synthese 184 (3):407-430.
    We often face a bewildering array of different explanations for the same social facts (e.g. biological, psychological, economic, and historical accounts). But we have few guidelines for whether and when we should think of different accounts as competing or compatible. In this paper, I offer some guidelines for understanding when custom or norm accounts do and don’t compete with other types of accounts. I describe two families of non-competing accounts: (1) explanations of different (but similarly described) facts, and (2) accounts (...)
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  • A Philosophical Analysis of the Relation Between Chemistry and Quantum Mechanics.Vanessa Seifert - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Bristol
    This thesis investigates the epistemological and metaphysical relations between chemistry and quantum mechanics. These relations are examined with respect to how chemistry and quantum mechanics each describe a single inert molecule. A review of how these relations are understood in the literature shows that there is a proliferation of positions which focus on how chemistry is separate from quantum mechanics. This proliferation is accompanied by a tendency within the philosophy of chemistry community to connect the legitimacy of the field with (...)
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  • Objective Consequentialism and the Plurality of Chances.Leszek Wroński - forthcoming - Synthese:1-17.
    I claim that objective consequentialism faces a problem stemming from the existence in some situations of a plurality of chances relevant to the outcomes of an agent’s acts. I suggest that this phenomenon bears structural resemblance to the well-known Reference Class problem. I outline a few ways in which one could attempt to deal with the issue, suggesting that it is the higher-level chance that should be employed by OC.
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  • Deciding the Mind–Body Problem Experimentally.Pierre Uzan - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (4):333-354.
    A Bell-type strategy of decision for the long-standing question of the nature of psychophysical correlations has been previously presented in a recent article published in Mind and Matter. This strategy of decision is here applied to experimental data on psychophysiological correlations, namely, correlations between cardiovascular and emotional variables that have been reported in several independent publications. This statistical analysis shows that a substantial majority of these correlations cannot be interpreted as an exchange of signals or a mere “interaction”, whatever its (...)
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  • Defeating Manipulation Arguments: Interventionist Causation and Compatibilist Sourcehood.Oisín Deery & Eddy Nahmias - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1255-1276.
    We use recent interventionist theories of causation to develop a compatibilist account of causal sourcehood, which provides a response to Manipulation Arguments for the incompatibility of free will and determinism. Our account explains the difference between manipulation and determinism, against the claim of Manipulation Arguments that there is no relevant difference. Interventionism allows us to see that causal determinism does not mean that variables outside of the agent causally explain her actions better than variables within the agent, whereas the causal (...)
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  • Davidson, Reasons, and Causes: A Plea for a Little Bit More Empathy.Karsten R. Stueber - 2019 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 7 (2).
    In this essay, I will suggest ways of improving on Davidson’s conception of the explanatory autonomy of folk psychological explanations. For that purpose, I will appeal to insights from the recent theory of mind debate emphasizing the centrality of various forms of empathy for our understanding of another person’s mindedness. While I will argue that we need to abandon Davidson’s position of anomalous monism, I will also show that my account is fully compatible with Davidson’s non-reductive and interpretationist account of (...)
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  • My Brain Made Me Do It: The Exclusion Argument Against Free Will, and What’s Wrong with It.Christian List & Peter Menzies - 2017 - In H. Beebee, C. Hitchcock & H. Price (eds.), Making a Difference: Essays on the Philosophy of Causation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We offer a critical assessment of the “exclusion argument” against free will, which may be summarized by the slogan: “My brain made me do it, therefore I couldn't have been free”. While the exclusion argument has received much attention in debates about mental causation (“could my mental states ever cause my actions?”), it is seldom discussed in relation to free will. However, the argument informally underlies many neuroscientific discussions of free will, especially the claim that advances in neuroscience seriously challenge (...)
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  • Levels: Descriptive, Explanatory, and Ontological.Christian List - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):852-883.
    Scientists and philosophers frequently speak about levels of description, levels of explanation, and ontological levels. In this paper, I propose a unified framework for modelling levels. I give a general definition of a system of levels and show that it can accommodate descriptive, explanatory, and ontological notions of levels. I further illustrate the usefulness of this framework by applying it to some salient philosophical questions: (1) Is there a linear hierarchy of levels, with a fundamental level at the bottom? And (...)
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