Mental Causation for Standard Dualists

Australasian Journal of Philosophy (2024)
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Abstract

The standard objection to dualist theories of mind is that they seemingly cannot account for the obvious fact that mental phenomena cause our behaviour. On the plausible assumption that all our behaviour is physically necessitated by entirely physical phenomena, there appears to be no room for dualist mental causation. Some argue that dualists can address this problem by making minimal adjustments in their ontology. I argue that no such adjustments are required. Given recent developments in philosophy of causation, it is plausible that mental phenomena cause behaviour in standard dualist ontologies.

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Bram Vaassen
UmeƄ University

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