Causal exclusion and the limits of proportionality

Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1459-1474 (2017)
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Abstract
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, and one that generalises: any attempt to rescue the autonomy of the special sciences, or the efficacy of the mental, from exclusion worries had better not look to proportionality for help.
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First archival date: 2016-07-19
Latest version: 2 (2016-08-16)
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The Non‐Occurrence Of Events.Neil McDonnell - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

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