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  1. Mental Causation as Joint Causation.Chiwook Won - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4917-4937.
    This paper explores and defends the idea that mental properties and their physical bases jointly cause their physical effects. The paper evaluates the view as an emergentist response to the exclusion problem, comparing it with a competing nonreductive physicalist solution, the compatibilist solution, and argues that the joint causation view is more defensible than commonly supposed. Specifically, the paper distinguishes two theses of closure, Strong Closure and Weak Closure, two causal exclusion problems, the overdetermination problem and the supervenience problem, and (...)
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  • Inter-level Causal Compatibility Without Identity.Gergely Kertész - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    The paper investigates and refines the proportionalist solution to the causal exclusion problem developed by Menzies and List. First and foremost, it explores the implications of their inter-level compatibility result. It is highlighted that in theory the inter-level causal compatibility of realizer and realized properties allows for scenarios where the higher-level property is multiply realized. By developing concrete illustrations, the paper proves this to be an empirically plausible option. Further non-trivial implications of the framework are unpacked to show that the (...)
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  • Exclusion, Subset Realization, and Part‐Whole Relations.Wenjun Zhang - 2022 - Ratio 35 (1):5-15.
    The subset realization view proposes to solve the causal exclusion problem of non‐reductive mental instances by taking the mental instance as a part of its physical realizer. Many philosophers have argued that such a part‐whole relation will undermine physicalist realization because parts are ontologically prior to their wholes and the subset view is thus flawed. I argue that the relation that the subset view should propose is different from the ordinary part‐whole relation. What they should propose is another kind of (...)
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  • Distributing States' Duties.Stephanie Collins - 2016 - Journal of Political Philosophy 24 (3):344-366.
    In order for states to fulfil their moral duties, costs must be passed to individual citizens. This paper asks how these costs should be distributed. I advocate the common-sense answer: the distribution of costs should, insofar as possible, track the reasons behind the state’s duty. This answer faces a number of problems, which I attempt to solve.
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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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  • 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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  • Causal Exclusion and Physical Causal Completeness.Dwayne Moore - 2019 - Wiley: 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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  • Halfway Proportionality.Bram Vaassen - 2022 - Philosophical Studies (9):1-21.
    According to the so-called 'proportionality principle', causes should be proportional to their effects: they should be both enough and not too much for the occurrence of their effects. This principle is the subject of an ongoing debate. On the one hand, many maintain that it is required to address the problem of causal exclusion and take it to capture a crucial aspect of causation. On the other hand, many object that it renders accounts of causation implausibly restrictive and often reject (...)
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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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  • Why Difference-Making Mental Causation Does Not Save Free Will.Alva Stråge - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations:1-15.
    Many philosophers take mental causation to be required for free will. But it has also been argued that the most popular view of the nature of mental states, i.e. non-reductive physicalism, excludes...
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  • Two Intuitions About Free Will: Alternative Possibilities and Intentional Endorsement.Wlodek Rabinowicz & Christian List - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):155-172.
    Free will is widely thought to require (i) the possibility of acting otherwise and (ii) the intentional endorsement of one’s actions (“indeterministic picking is not enough”). According to (i), a necessary condition for free will is agential-level indeterminism: at some points in time, an agent’s prior history admits more than one possible continuation. According to (ii), however, a free action must be intentionally endorsed, and indeterminism may threaten freedom: if several alternative actions could each have been actualized, then none of (...)
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  • Troubles with the Canberra Plan.Panu Raatikainen - 2020 - Synthese 1 (1-2).
    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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  • Naturalism.Davidn D. 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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  • Understanding as explaining: how motives can become causes.Thomas Fuchs - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-16.
    The distinction of „understanding“ and „explaining“, formulated by Karl Jaspers in his „General Psychopathology“, has had a lasting effect on psychiatry. As a result, phenomenological, hermeneutic, or psychodynamic approaches have often been accorded only descriptive or epiphenomenal status, while the actual causes of mental illness have been sought in neurobiologically or genetically based explanations. In contrast, this paper defends the explanatory role of understanding and phenomenological approaches. To this end, two levels of explanation are distinguished and shown to be equally (...)
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  • Chalmersin argumentti materialismia vastaan.Panu Raatikainen - 2018 - Ajatus 75 (1):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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  • 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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  • Relativizing Proportionality to a Domain of Events.Caroline Torpe Touborg - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-20.
    A cause is proportional to its effect when, roughly speaking, it is at the right level of detail. There is a lively debate about whether proportionality is a necessary condition for causation. One of the main arguments against a proportionality constraint on causation is that many ordinary and seemingly perfectly acceptable causal claims cite causes that are not proportional to their effects. In this paper, I suggest that proponents of a proportionality constraint can respond to this objection by developing an (...)
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  • Sparse Causation and Mere Abundant Causation.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    Setting off from a familiar distinction in the philosophy of properties, this paper introduces a tripartite distinction between sparse causation, abundant causation and mere abundant causation. It is argued that the contrast between sparse and mere abundant causation allows us to resolve notorious philosophical issues having to do with negative causation, causation involving institutional properties and physical macro-causation in a way that is unified, intuitive and in line with scientific doctrines and practices.
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  • Why Incompatibilism About Mental Causation is Incompatible with Non-Reductive Physicalism.Jonas Christensen & Umut Baysan - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (5):546-568.
    ABSTRACT 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 (...)
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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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  • On the Explanatory Depth and Pragmatic Value of Coarse-Grained, Probabilistic, Causal Explanations.David Kinney - 2018 - Philosophy of Science (1):145-167.
    This article considers the popular thesis that a more proportional relationship between a cause and its effect yields a more abstract causal explanation of that effect, which in turn produces a deeper explanation. This thesis is taken to have important implications for choosing the optimal granularity of explanation for a given explanandum. In this article, I argue that this thesis is not generally true of probabilistic causal relationships. In light of this finding, I propose a pragmatic, interest-relative measure of explanatory (...)
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  • Bayesian Networks and Causal Ecumenism.David Kinney - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-26.
    Proponents of various causal exclusion arguments claim that for any given event, there is often a unique level of granularity at which that event is caused. Against these causal exclusion arguments, causal ecumenists argue that the same event or phenomenon can be caused at multiple levels of granularity. This paper argues that the Bayesian network approach to representing the causal structure of target systems is consistent with causal ecumenism. Given the ubiquity of Bayesian networks as a tool for representing causal (...)
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  • Making a Difference: Essays on the Philosophy of Causation Edited by Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock and Huw Price.David Westland - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):578-581.
    Making a Difference: Essays on the Philosophy of Causation Edited by BeebeeHelen, HitchcockChristopher and PriceHuwOxford University Press, 2017. xii + 336 pp.
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  • Does Moral Philosophy ‘Leave Everything As It Is’?Matthew Congdon - 2022 - Analysis 82 (1):169-179.
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  • The Pursuit of Neutrality in the Metaphysics of Emergence.Umut Baysan - 2022 - Analysis 82 (1):159-169.
    What marks emergence as a metaphysically interesting idea is that many macro-level entities and their properties are ontologically and causally autonomous in relation to the micro-level entities and properties they depend on---or so argues Jessica Wilson in Metaphysical Emergence (2021). To do so, she adopts a “metaphysically highly neutral” (p. 32) approach to questions about powers, causation, properties, and laws. That is, while explaining what emergence is and arguing that there is indeed emergence in the natural world, she doesn’t restrict (...)
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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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  • Dualist Mental Causation and the Exclusion Problem.Thomas Kroedel - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):357-375.
    The paper argues that dualism can explain mental causation and solve the exclusion problem. If dualism is combined with the assumption that the psychophysical laws have a special status, it follows that some physical events counterfactually depend on, and are therefore caused by, mental events. Proponents of this account of mental causation can solve the exclusion problem in either of two ways: they can deny that it follows that the physical effect of a mental event is overdetermined by its mental (...)
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  • Duties of Group Agents and Group Members.Stephanie Collins - 2017 - Journal of Social Philosophy 48 (1):38-57.
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  • What is the Exclusion Problem?Jeff Engelhardt - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):205-232.
    The philosophical literature contains at least three formulations of the problem of causal exclusion. Although each of the three most common formulations targets theories according to which some effects have ‘too many determiners’, no one is reducible to either of the others. This article proposes two ‘new’ exclusion problems and suggests that exclusion is not a single problem but a family of problems unified by the situations they problematize. It is shown, further, that for three of the most popular attempts (...)
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  • Semantic Normativity and Semantic Causality.Lei Zhong - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):626-645.
    Semantic normativism, which is the view that semantic properties/concepts are some kind of normative properties/concepts, has become increasingly influential in contemporary meta-semantics. In this paper, I aim to argue that semantic normativism has difficulty accommodating the causal efficacy of semantic properties. In specific, I raise an exclusion problem for semantic normativism, inspired by the exclusion problem in the philosophy of mind. Moreover, I attempt to show that the exclusion problem for semantic normativism is peculiarly troublesome: while we can solve mental-physical (...)
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  • Rendering Interventionism and Non‐Reductive Physicalism Compatible.Michael Baumgartner - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (1):1-27.
    In recent years, the debate on the problem of causal exclusion has seen an ‘interventionist turn’. Numerous non-reductive physicalists (e.g. Shapiro and Sober 2007) have argued that Woodward's (2003) interventionist theory of causation provides a means to empirically establish the existence of non-reducible mental-to-physical causation. By contrast, Baumgartner (2010) has presented an interventionist exclusion argument showing that interventionism is in fact incompatible with non-reductive physicalism. In response, a number of revised versions of interventionism have been suggested that are compatible with (...)
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  • List and Menzies on High‐Level Causation.Jens Jäger - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (4):570-591.
    I raise two objections against Christian List and Peter Menzies' influential account of high-level causation. Improving upon some of Stephen Yablo's earlier work, I develop an alternative theory which evades both objections. The discussion calls into question List and Menzies' main contention, namely, that the exclusion principle, applied to difference-making, is false.
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  • Mental Causation, Autonomy and Action Theory.Dwayne Moore - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):53-73.
    Nonreductive physicalism states that actions have sufficient physical causes and distinct mental causes. Nonreductive physicalism has recently faced the exclusion problem, according to which the single sufficient physical cause excludes the mental causes from causal efficacy. Autonomists respond by stating that while mental-to-physical causation fails, mental-to-mental causation persists. Several recent philosophers establish this autonomy result via similar models of causation :1031–1049, 2016; Zhong, J Philos 111:341–360, 2014). In this paper I argue that both of these autonomist models fail on account (...)
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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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  • Emergent Chance.Christian List & Marcus Pivato - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):119-152.
    We offer a new argument for the claim that there can be non-degenerate objective chance (“true randomness”) in a deterministic world. Using a formal model of the relationship between different levels of description of a system, we show how objective chance at a higher level can coexist with its absence at a lower level. Unlike previous arguments for the level-specificity of chance, our argument shows, in a precise sense, that higher-level chance does not collapse into epistemic probability, despite higher-level properties (...)
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  • Group Agents Are Not Expressive, Pragmatic or Theoretical Fictions.Philip Pettit - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S9):1641-1662.
    Group agents have been represented as expressive fictions by those who treat ascriptions of agency to groups as metaphorical; as pragmatic fictions by those who think that the agency ascribed to groups belongs in the first place to a distinct individual or set of individuals; and as theoretical fictions by those who think that postulating group agents serves no indispensable role in our theory of the social world. This paper identifies, criticizes and rejects each of these views, defending a strong (...)
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  • The Correlation Argument for Reductionism.Christopher Clarke - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (1):76-97.
    Reductionists say things like: all mental properties are physical properties; all normative properties are natural properties. I argue that the only way to resist reductionism is to deny that causation is difference making (thus making the epistemology of causation a mystery) or to deny that properties are individuated by their causal powers (thus making properties a mystery). That is to say, unless one is happy to deny supervenience, or to trivialize the debate over reductionism. To show this, I argue that (...)
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  • Aggregating Causal Judgments.Richard Bradley, Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):491-515.
    Decision-making typically requires judgments about causal relations: we need to know the causal effects of our actions and the causal relevance of various environmental factors. We investigate how several individuals' causal judgments can be aggregated into collective causal judgments. First, we consider the aggregation of causal judgments via the aggregation of probabilistic judgments, and identify the limitations of this approach. We then explore the possibility of aggregating causal judgments independently of probabilistic ones. Formally, we introduce the problem of causal-network aggregation. (...)
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  • The Non‐Occurrence Of Events.Neil McDonnell - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):269-285.
    What is it for an event not to occur? This is an urgent, yet under explored, question for counterfactual analyses of causation quite generally. In this paper I take a lead from Lewis in identifying two different possible standards of non-occurrence that we might adopt and I argue that we need to apply them asymmetrically: one standard for the cause, another for the effect. This is a surprising result. I then offer a contextualist refinement of the Lewis approach in light (...)
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  • Three Mistakes About Doing Good (And Bad).Philip Pettit - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (1):1-25.
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  • Explanation and Manipulation.Alexander Prescott-Couch - 2017 - Noûs 51 (3):484-520.
    I argue that manipulationist theories of causation fail as accounts of causal structure, and thereby as theories of “actual causation” and causal explanation. I focus on two kinds of problem cases, which I call “Perceived Abnormality Cases” and “Ontological Dependence Cases.” The cases illustrate that basic facts about social systems—that individuals are sensitive to perceived abnormal conditions and that certain actions metaphysically depend on institutional rules—pose a challenge for manipulationist theories and for counterfactual theories more generally. I then show how (...)
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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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  • Distributing States' Duties.Stephanie Collins - 2015 - Journal of Political Philosophy 23 (3):344-366.
    In order for states to fulfil (many of) their moral obligations, costs must be passed to individuals. This paper asks how these costs should be distributed. I advocate the common-sense answer: the distribution of costs should, insofar as possible, track the reasons behind the state’s duty. This answer faces a number of problems, which I attempt to solve.
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  • Transparency and the KK Principle.Nilanjan Das & Bernhard Salow - 2018 - Noûs 52 (1):3-23.
    An important question in epistemology is whether the KK principle is true, i.e., whether an agent who knows that p is also thereby in a position to know that she knows that p. We explain how a “transparency” account of self-knowledge, which maintains that we learn about our attitudes towards a proposition by reflecting not on ourselves but rather on that very proposition, supports an affirmative answer. In particular, we show that such an account allows us to reconcile a version (...)
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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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  • Challenging Liberal Representationalism: A Reply to Artiga.Peter Schulte - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (3):331-348.
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  • Experiments on Causal Exclusion.Thomas Blanchard, Dylan Murray & Tania Lombrozo - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  • Building Low Level Causation Out of High Level Causation.Samuel Lee - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9927-9955.
    I argue that high level causal relationships are often more fundamental than low level causal relationships. My argument is based on some general principles governing when one causal relationship will metaphysically ground another—a phenomenon I term derivative causation. These principles are in turn based partly on our intuitive judgments concerning derivative causation in a series of representative examples, and partly on some powerful theoretical considerations in their favour. I show how these principles entail that low level causation can derive from (...)
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  • Making a Difference in Virtue Epistemology.Fabian Hundertmark & Steven Kindley - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11213-11229.
    Virtue Reliabilism holds that knowledge is a cognitive achievement—an epistemic success that is creditable to the cognitive abilities of the knowing subject. Beyond this consensus, there is much disagreement amongst proponents of virtue reliabilism about the conditions under which the credit-relation between an epistemic success and a person’s cognitive abilities holds. This paper aims to establish a new and attractive view of this crucial relation in terms of difference-making. We will argue that the resulting theory, Difference-Making Virtue Epistemology, can deal (...)
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  • New functionalism and the social and behavioral sciences.Lukas Beck & James D. Grayot - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (4):1-28.
    Functionalism about kinds is still the dominant style of thought in the special sciences, like economics, psychology, and biology. Generally construed, functionalism is the view that states or processes can be individuated based on what role they play rather than what they are constituted of or realized by. Recently, Weiskopf has posited a reformulation of functionalism on the model-based approach to explanation. We refer to this reformulation as ‘new functionalism’. In this paper, we seek to defend new functionalism and to (...)
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