Causal closure principles and emergentism

Philosophy 75 (294):571-586 (2000)
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Causal closure arguments against interactionist dualism are currently popular amongst physicalists. Such an argument appeals to some principles of the causal closure of the physical, together with certain other premises, to conclude that at least some mental events are identical with physical events. However, it is crucial to the success of any such argument that the physical causal closure principle to which it appeals is neither too strong nor too weak by certain standards. In this paper, it is argued that various forms of naturalistic dualism, of an emergentist character, are consistent with the strongest physical causal closure principles that can plausibly be advocated.

Author's Profile

E. J. Lowe
PhD: Oxford University; Last affiliation: Durham University


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