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A Defense of Nonreductive Mental Causation

Dissertation, The University of Oklahoma (2013)

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  1. Mental Causation and Shoemaker-Realization.Brian P. McLaughlin - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (2):149 - 172.
    Sydney Shoemaker has proposed a new definition of `realization’ and used it to try to explain how mental events can be causes within the framework of a non-reductive physicalism. I argue that it is not actually his notion of realization that is doing the work in his account of mental causation, but rather the assumption that certain physical properties entail mental properties that do not entail them. I also point out how his account relies on certain other controversial assumptions, including (...)
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  • Cause and Essence.Stephen Yablo - 1992 - Synthese 93 (3):403 - 449.
    Essence and causation are fundamental in metaphysics, but little is said about their relations. Some essential properties are of course causal, as it is essential to footprints to have been caused by feet. But I am interested less in causation's role in essence than the reverse: the bearing a thing's essence has on its causal powers. That essencemight make a causal contribution is hinted already by the counterfactual element in causation; and the hint is confirmed by the explanation essence offers (...)
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  • Why I Am Not a Dualist.Karen Bennett - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind.
    I argue that dualism does not help assuage the perceived explanatory failure of physicalism. I begin with the claim that a minimally plausible dualism should only postulate a small stock of fundamental phenomenal properties and fundamental psychophysical laws: it should systematize the teeming mess of phenomenal properties and psychophysical correlations. I then argue that it is dialectically odd to think that empirical investigation could not possibly reveal a physicalist explanation of consciousness, and yet can reveal this small stock of fundamental (...)
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  • Farewell to Binary Causation.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1996 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):267 - 282.
    Causation is a topic of perennial philosophical concern. As well as being of intrinsic interest, almost all philosophical concepts — such as knowledge, beauty, and moral responsibility — involve a causal dimension. Nonetheless, attempts to provide a satisfactory account of the nature of causation have typically led to barrages of counterexamples. I hope to show that a number of the difficulties plaguing theories of causation have a common source.Most philosophical theories of causation describe a binary relation between cause and effect, (...)
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  • The Statue and the Clay.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1998 - Noûs 32 (2):149-173.
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  • Consciousness and its Place in Nature.David J. Chalmers - 2003 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. pp. 102--142.
    Consciousness fits uneasily into our conception of the natural world. On the most common conception of nature, the natural world is the physical world. But on the most common conception of consciousness, it is not easy to see how it could be part of the physical world. So it seems that to find a place for consciousness within the natural order, we must either revise our conception of consciousness, or revise our conception of nature. In twentieth-century philosophy, this dilemma is (...)
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  • Contrastive Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (3):327-358.
    Causation is widely assumed to be a binary relation: c causes e. I will argue that causation is a quaternary, contrastive relation: c rather than C* causes e rather than E*, where C* and E* are nonempty sets of contrast events. Or at least, I will argue that treating causation as contrastive helps resolve some paradoxes.
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  • Overdetermining Causes.Jonathan Schaffer - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):23 - 45.
    When two rocks shatter the window at once, what causes the window to shatter? Is the throwing of each individual rock a cause of the window shattering, or are the throwings only causes collectively? This question bears on the analysis of causation, and the metaphysics of macro-causation. I argue that the throwing of each individual rock is a cause of the window shattering, and generally that individual overdeterminers are causes.
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  • Two Concepts of Causation.Ned Hall - 2004 - In John Collins, Ned Hall & Laurie Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. MIT Press. pp. 225-276.
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  • The Determinable-Determinate Relation.Eric Funkhouser - 2006 - Noûs 40 (3):548–569.
    The properties colored and red stand in a special relation. Namely, red is a determinate of colored, and colored is determinable relative to red. Many other properties are similarly related. The determination relation is an interesting topic of logical investigation in its own right, and the prominent philosophical inquiries into this relation have, accordingly, operated at a high level of abstraction.1 It is time to return to these investigations, not just as a logical amusement, but for the payoffs such investigation (...)
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  • The Constitution Question.Ryan Wasserman - 2004 - Noûs 38 (4):693 - 710.
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  • Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    Woodward's long awaited book is an attempt to construct a comprehensive account of causation explanation that applies to a wide variety of causal and explanatory claims in different areas of science and everyday life. The book engages some of the relevant literature from other disciplines, as Woodward weaves together examples, counterexamples, criticisms, defenses, objections, and replies into a convincing defense of the core of his theory, which is that we can analyze causation by appeal to the notion of manipulation.
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  • Mental Causation and Mental Reality.Tim Crane - 1992 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 92:185-202.
    The Problems of Mental Causation. Functionalism in the philosophy of mind identifies mental states with their dispositional connections with other mental states, perceptions and actions. Many theories of the mind have sailed under the Functionalist flag. But what I take to be essential to Functionalism is that mental states are individuated causally: the reality of mental states depends essentially on their causal efficacy.
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  • Troubles with Functionalism.Ned Block - 1978 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9:261-325.
    The functionalist view of the nature of the mind is now widely accepted. Like behaviorism and physicalism, functionalism seeks to answer the question "What are mental states?" I shall be concerned with identity thesis formulations of functionalism. They say, for example, that pain is a functional state, just as identity thesis formulations of physicalism say that pain is a physical state.
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  • Causal Contextualisms.Jonathan Schaffer - 2012 - In Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge.
    Causal claims are context sensitive. According to the old orthodoxy (Mackie 1974, Lewis 1986, inter alia), the context sensitivity of causal claims is all due to conversational pragmatics. According to the new contextualists (Hitchcock 1996, Woodward 2003, Maslen 2004, Menzies 2004, Schaffer 2005, and Hall ms), at least some of the context sensitivity of causal claims is semantic in nature. I want to discuss the prospects for causal contextualism, by asking why causal claims are context sensitive, what they are sensitive (...)
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  • Realization and the Metaphysics of Mind.Thomas W. Polger - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):233 – 259.
    According to the received view in philosophy of mind, mental states or properties are _realized_ by brain states or properties but are not identical to them. This view is often called _realization_ _physicalism_. Carl Gillett has recently defended a detailed formulation of the realization relation. However, Gillett’s formulation cannot be the relation that realization physicalists have in mind. I argue that Gillett’s “dimensioned” view of realization fails to apply to a textbook case of realization. I also argue Gillett counts as (...)
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  • Physical Realization.Sydney Shoemaker - 2007 - Oxford University Press UK.
    In Physical Realization, Sydney Shoemaker considers the question of how physicalism can be true: how can all facts about the world, including mental ones, be constituted by facts about the distribution in the world of physical properties? Physicalism requires that the mental properties of a person are 'realized in' the physical properties of that person, and that all instantiations of properties in macroscopic objects are realized in microphysical states of affairs. Shoemaker offers an account of both these sorts of realization, (...)
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  • Multiple Realization and the Metaphysics of Reduction.Jaegwon Kim - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1):1-26.
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  • A Defense of Causal Invariantism.Martin Montminy & Andrew Russo - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):49-75.
    Causal contextualism holds that sentences of the form ‘c causes e’ have context-sensitive truth-conditions. We consider four arguments invoked by Jonathan Schaffer in favor of this view. First, he argues that his brand of contextualism helps solve puzzles about transitivity. Second, he contends that how one describes the relata of the causal relation sometimes affects the truth of one’s claim. Third, Schaffer invokes the phenomenon of contrastive focus to conclude that causal statements implicitly designate salient alternatives to the cause and (...)
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  • Causes, Causity, and Energy.Hector-Neri Castañeda - 1984 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 9 (1):17-27.
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  • Finkish Dispositions.David K. Lewis - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):143-158.
    Many years ago, C.B. Martin drew our attention to the possibility of ‘finkish’ dispositions: dispositions which, if put to the test would not be manifested, but rather would disappear. Thus if x if finkishly disposed to give response r to stimulus s, it is not so that if x were subjected to stimulus r, x would give response z; so finkish dispositions afford a counter‐example to the simplest conditional analysis of dispositions. Martin went on to suggest that finkish dispositions required (...)
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  • Epiphenomenal and Supervenient Causation.Jaegwon Kim - 1984 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 9 (1):257-70.
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  • Do Causal Powers Drain Away.Ned Block - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):133-150.
    In this note, I will discuss one issue concerning the main argument of Mind in a Physical World (Kim, 1998), the Causal Exclusion Argument. The issue is whether it is a consequence of the Causal Exclusion Argument that all macro level causation (that is, causation above the level of fundamental physics) is an illusion, with all of the apparent causal powers of mental and other macro properties draining into the bottom level of physics. I will argue that such a consequence (...)
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  • Wide Causation.Stephen Yablo - 1997 - Philosophical Perspectives 11:251-281.
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  • Review of Lynne Rudder Baker, Persons and Bodies. [REVIEW]Theodore Sider - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 99 (1):45-48.
    Locke’s view that continuants are numerically distinct from their constituting hunks of matter is popular enough to be called the “standard account”.1 It was given its definitive contemporary statement by David Wiggins in Sameness and Substance2, and has been defended by many since. Baker’s interesting book contributes new arguments for this view, a new definition of ‘constitution’, and a sustained application to persons and human animals. Much of what she says develops this view in new and important ways. But in (...)
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  • Intellectual Norms and Foundations of Mind.Tyler Burge - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (December):697-720.
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  • Causation as Influence.David K. Lewis - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
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  • Proportionality and Mental Causation: A Fit?Matthew McGrath - 1998 - Philosophical Perspectives 12:167-176.
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  • Causal Compatibilism and the Exclusion Problem.Terence Horgan - 2001 - Theoria 16 (40):95-116.
    Terry Horgan University of Memphis In this paper I address the problem of causal exclusion, specifically as it arises for mental properties (although the scope of the discussion is more general, being applicable to other kinds of putatively causal properties that are not identical to narrowly physical causal properties, i.e., causal properties posited by physics). I summarize my own current position on the matter, and I offer a defense of this position. I draw upon and synthesize relevant discussions in various (...)
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  • Of Ghostly and Mechanical Events.Jonathan Schaffer - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):230-244.
    Two of the assumptions that drive most contemporary philosophy of mind are the naturalistic thesis that minds, like mountains and molecules, are macro-objects in the natural order, involving nothing ‘spooky’, and a three-part taxonomy that recognizes substance dualism, property dualism, and monism as the available metaphysical options. Together, these assumptions drive most contemporary philosophers of mind to either monism of the materialistic stripe, or to a version of property dualism that treats mental properties on par with other macro-properties.
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  • Advertisement for a Semantics for Psychology.Ned Block - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 10 (1):615-678.
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  • Identity, Properties, and Causality.Sydney Shoemaker - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):321-342.
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  • Individualism and the Mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
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  • Why Constitution is Not Identity.Lynne Rudder Baker - 1997 - Journal of Philosophy 94 (12):599.
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  • Multiple Realizations.Lawrence A. Shapiro - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (12):635-654.
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  • Making Mind Matter More.Jerry A. Fodor - 1989 - Philosophical Topics 17 (1):59-79.
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  • Trumping Preemption.Jonathan Schaffer - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):165.
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  • Causation and the Price of Transitivity.Ned Hall - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):198.
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  • Robust Nonreductive Materialism.Derk Pereboom - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 99 (10):499.
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  • Causes as Probability Raisers of Processes.Jonathan Schaffer - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):75-92.
    Causation, according to David Hume, is one of the three fundamental conceptual relations (along with resemblance and contiguity), and is the foundation of all reasoning concerning matters of fact. Causation, according to various contemporary philosophers, is required for the analysis of metaphysical concepts such as persistence, scientific concepts such as explanation and disposition, epistemic concepts such as perception and warrant, ethical concepts such as action and responsibility, legal concepts such as homicide and negligence, mental concepts such as functional role and (...)
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  • Identity, Essence, and Indiscernibility.Stephen Yablo - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (6):293.
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  • Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
    What is the relation between a reason and an action when the reason explains the action by giving the agent's reason for doing what he did? We may call such explanations rationalizations, and say that the reason rationalizes the action. In this paper I want to defend the ancient - and common-sense - position that rationalization is a species of ordinary causal explanation. The defense no doubt requires some redeployment, but not more or less complete abandonment of the position, as (...)
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  • Counterparts of Persons and Their Bodies.David K. Lewis - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (7):203-211.
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  • Causation, Nomic Subsumption, and the Concept of Event.Jaegwon Kim - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (8):217-236.
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  • New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
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  • Persons and Bodies: Constitution Without Mereology?Dean Zimmerman - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):599-606.
    Lynne Rudder Baker and many others think that paradigmatic instances of one object constituting another—a piece of marble constituting a statue, or an aggregate of particles constituting a living body—involve two distinct objects in the same place at the same time. Some who say this believe in the doctrine of temporal parts; but others, like Baker, reject this doctrine. Such philosophers, whom one might call “coincidentalists”, cannot say that these objects manage to share space in virtue of sharing a temporal (...)
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  • Spatially Coinciding Objects.Frederick C. Doepke - 1982 - Ratio:10--24.
    Following Wiggins’ seminal article, On Being in the Same Place at the Same Time, this article presents the first comprehensive account of the relation of material constitution, an asymmetrical, transitive relation which totally orders distinct ‘entities’ (individuals, pluralities or masses of stuff) which ‘spatially coincide.’ Their coincidence in space is explained by a recursive definition of ‘complete-composition’, weaker than strict mereological indiscernibility, which also explains the variety of logically independent similarities in such cases. This account is ‘analytical’, dealing with ‘putative’ (...)
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  • On Being in the Same Place at the Same Time.David Wiggins - 1968 - Philosophical Review 77 (1):90-95.
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  • Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
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  • Contingent Identity.Allan Gibbard - 1975 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 4 (2):187-222.
    Identities formed with proper names may be contingent. this claim is made first through an example. the paper then develops a theory of the semantics of concrete things, with contingent identity as a consequence. this general theory lets concrete things be made up canonically from fundamental physical entities. it includes theories of proper names, variables, cross-world identity with respect to a sortal, and modal and dispositional properties. the theory, it is argued, is coherent and superior to its rivals, in that (...)
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