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  1. The Causal Autonomy of the Special Sciences.Peter Menzies & Christian List - 2010 - In Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press.
    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 those 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.2 More recently, non-reductive physicalists have espoused a similar view about 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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  • Can Physics Make Us Free?Tuomas K. Pernu - 2017 - Frontiers in Physics 5.
    A thoroughly physical view on reality and our common sense view on agency and free will seem to be in a direct conflict with each other: if everything that happens is determined by prior physical events, so too are all our actions and conscious decisions; you have no choice but to do what you are destined to do. Although this way of thinking has intuitive appeal, and a long history, it has recently began to gain critical attention. A number of (...)
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  • What a Dualist Should Say About the Exclusion Argument.Christian List & Daniel Stoljar - unknown
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  • The Super-Overdetermination Problem.John Donaldson - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    I examine the debate between reductive and non-reductive physicalists, and conclude that if we are to be physicalists, then we should be reductive physicalists. I assess how both reductionists and non-reductionists try to solve the mind-body problem and the problem of mental causation. I focus on the problem of mental causation as it is supposed to be faced by non-reductionism: the so-called overdetermination problem. I argue that the traditional articulation of that problem is significantly flawed, and I show how to (...)
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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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  • Vertical Versus Horizontal: What is Really at Issue in the Exclusion Problem?John Donaldson - 2019 - Synthese: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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  • The Exclusion Problem and Counterfactual Theories of Causation.Yee Hang Sze - unknown
    Jaegwon Kim famously challenged non-reductive materialism/physicalism, a popular stance in the philosophy of mind, with the so-called exclusion argument. The argument is alleged to show that if NRM is true, then mental properties cannot be causes. In recent years, there have been many reactions to the exclusion problem based on counterfactual accounts of causation. In particular, List and Menzies gave an interesting response based on a Lewis-style counterfactual theory of causation, with some modifications made to Lewis’s semantics of counterfactuals. In (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Methodological Individualism and Holism in Political Science: A Reconciliation.Christian List & Kai Spiekermann - 2013 - American Political Science Review 107 (4):629-643.
    Political science is divided between methodological individualists, who seek to explain political phenomena by reference to individuals and their interactions, and holists (or nonreductionists), who consider some higher-level social entities or properties such as states, institutions, or cultures ontologically or causally significant. We propose a reconciliation between these two perspectives, building on related work in philosophy. After laying out a taxonomy of different variants of each view, we observe that (i) although political phenomena result from underlying individual attitudes and behavior, (...)
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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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  • Mentalism Versus Behaviourism in Economics: A Philosophy-of-Science Perspective.Christian List & Franz Dietrich - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32 (2):249-281.
    Behaviourism is the view that preferences, beliefs, and other mental states in social-scientific theories are nothing but constructs re-describing people's behaviour. Mentalism is the view that they capture real phenomena, on a par with the unobservables in science, such as electrons and electromagnetic fields. While behaviourism has gone out of fashion in psychology, it remains influential in economics, especially in ‘revealed preference’ theory. We defend mentalism in economics, construed as a positive science, and show that it fits best scientific practice. (...)
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  • How to Define Levels of Explanation and Evaluate Their Indispensability.Christopher Clarke - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    Some explanations in social science, psychology and biology belong to a higher level than other explanations. And higher explanations possess the virtue of abstracting away from the details of lower explanations, many philosophers argue. As a result, these higher explanations are irreplaceable. And this suggests that there are genuine higher laws or patterns involving social, psychological and biological states. I show that this ‘abstractness argument’ is really an argument schema, not a single argument. This is because the argument uses the (...)
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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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  • Can The Mental Be Causally Efficacious?Panu Raatikainen - 2013 - In K. Talmont-Kaminski M. Milkowski (ed.), Regarding the Mind, Naturally: Naturalist Approaches to the Sciences of the Mental. Cambridge Scholars Press.
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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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  • The Program Model, Difference-Makers, and the Exclusion Problem.Philip Pettit - 2017 - In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford University Press. pp. 232-50.
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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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  • Chalmersin argumentti materialismia vastaan.Panu Raatikainen - forthcoming - Ajatus 75.
    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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  • Replies to Randolph Clarke, John Bishop, and Helen Beebee.Helen Steward - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (3):547-557.
    Contains the author's responses to comments by the three named authors on her book, 'A Metaphysics for Freedom'.
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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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  • Exclusion in Morality.Lei Zhong - 2016 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 93 (2):275-290.
    Recently some philosophers (e.g. Shafer-Landau 2003; Wedgwood 2007) suggest an exclusion problem for moral non-naturalism, which is similar to the exclusion problem in the philosophy of mind. In this paper, I aim to advance the discussion of exclusion in morality by investigating two influential solutions to the exclusion problem: the autonomy solution and the overdetermination solution. I attempt to show that the moral non-naturalist can solve the exclusion problem in a way that is different from the approach to solving mental-physical (...)
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  • Taking Emergentism Seriously.Lei Zhong - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-16.
    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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  • Building and Surveying: Relative Fundamentality in Karen Bennett’s Making Things Up.Erica Shumener - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):303-314.
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  • Why It Matters Whether You Are a Contingentist.Stephan Leuenberger - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):290-303.
    Karen Bennett’s Making Things Up starts with the claim that despite all the differences between them, analytic philosophers share an interest in ‘claims about what builds – or fails to build – what’. Be that as it may, there is another candidate for a shared interest: in generalizing, and identifying common patterns in ostensibly different domains. It is that interest that Bennett pursues in the book, by developing a general theory of building relations.
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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).
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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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  • Radical Indeterminism and Top-Down Causation.Helen Beebee - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (3):537-545.
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  • Mental Causation.Sophie C. Gibb - 2014 - Analysis 74 (2):327-338.
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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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  • Psa 2018.Philsci-Archive -Preprint Volume- - unknown
    These preprints were automatically compiled into a PDF from the collection of papers deposited in PhilSci-Archive in conjunction with the PSA 2018.
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  • The Proportionality of Common Sense Causal Claims.Jennifer McDonald - unknown
    This paper defends strong proportionality against what I take to be its principal objection – that proportionality fails to preserve common sense causal intuitions – by articulating independently plausible constraints on how to represent causal situations. I first assume an interventionist formulation of proportionality, following Woodward. This views proportionality as a relational constraint on variable selection in causal modeling that requires that changes in the cause variable line up with those in the effect variable. I then argue that the principal (...)
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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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  • Kim on Causation and Mental Causation.Panu Raatikainen - 2018 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 25 (2):22–47.
    Jaegwon Kim’s views on mental causation and the exclusion argument are evaluated systematically. Particular attention is paid to different theories of causation. It is argued that the exclusion argument and its premises do not cohere well with any systematic view of causation.
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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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  • 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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  • Responsibility for Killer Robots.Johannes Himmelreich - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17.
    Future weapons will make life-or-death decisions without a human in the loop. When such weapons inflict unwarranted harm, no one appears to be responsible. There seems to be a responsibility gap. I first reconstruct the argument for such responsibility gaps to then argue that this argument is not sound. The argument assumes that commanders have no control over whether autonomous weapons inflict harm. I argue against this assumption. Although this investigation concerns a specific case of autonomous weapons systems, I take (...)
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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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  • Interventions on Causal Exclusion.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):255-263.
    Two strains of interventionist responses to the causal exclusion argument are reviewed and critically assessed. On the one hand, one can argue that manipulating supervenient mental states is an effective strategy for manipulating the subvenient physical states, and hence should count as genuine causes to the subvenient physical states. But unless the supervenient and subvenient states manifest some difference in their manipulability conditions, there is no reason to treat them as distinct, which in turn goes against the basic assumption of (...)
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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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  • Interventionism and Higher-Level Causation.Vera Hoffmann-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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  • Does the Interventionist Notion of Causation Deliver Us From the Fear of Epiphenomenalism?Tuomas K. Pernu - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (2):157-172.
    This article reviews the causal exclusion argument and confronts it with some recently proposed refutations based on the interventionist account of causation. I first show that there are several technical and interpretative difficulties in applying the interventionist account to the exclusion issue. Different ways of accommodating the two to one another are considered and all are shown to leave the issue without a fully satisfactory resolution. Lastly, I argue that, on the most consistent construal, the interventionist approach can provide grounds (...)
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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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  • Mental Manipulations and the Problem of Causal Exclusion.Lawrence A. Shapiro - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):507 - 524.
    Christian List and Peter Menzies 2009 have looked to interventionist theories of causation for an answer to Jaegwon Kim's causal exclusion problem. Important to their response is the idea of realization-insensitivity. However, this idea becomes mired in issues concerning multiple realization, leaving it unable to fulfil its promise to block exclusion. After explaining why realization-insensitivity fails as a solution to Kim's problem, I look to interventionism to describe a different kind of solution.
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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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  • 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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  • Difference-Making, Closure and Exclusion.Brad Weslake - forthcoming - In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford University Press.
    Consider the following causal exclusion principle: For all distinct properties F and F* such that F* supervenes on F, F and F* do not both cause a property G. Peter Menzies and Christian List have proven that it follows from a natural conception of causation as difference-making that this exclusion principle is not generally true. Rather, it turns out that whether the principle is true is a contingent matter. In addition, they have shown that in a wide range of empirically (...)
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  • Agency as Difference-Making: Causal Foundations of Moral Responsibility.Johannes Himmelreich - 2015 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science
    We are responsible for some things but not for others. In this thesis, I investigate what it takes for an entity to be responsible for something. This question has two components: agents and actions. I argue for a permissive view about agents. Entities such as groups or artificially intelligent systems may be agents in the sense required for responsibility. With respect to actions, I argue for a causal view. The relation in virtue of which agents are responsible for actions is (...)
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