Advertisement

Synthese

, Volume 182, Issue 3, pp 375–391 | Cite as

Disproportional mental causation

  • Justin T. TiehenEmail author
Article

Abstract

In this paper I do three things. First, I argue that Stephen Yablo’s influential account of mental causation is susceptible to counterexamples involving what I call disproportional mental causation. Second, I argue that similar counterexamples can be generated for any alternative account of mental causation that is like Yablo’s in that it takes mental states and their physical realizers to causally compete. Third, I show that there are alternative nonreductive approaches to mental causation which reject the idea of causal competition, and which thus are able to allow for disproportional mental causation. This, I argue, is a significant advantage for such noncompetitive accounts.

Keywords

Mental causation Nonreductive physicalism Proportionality Yablo 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bealer G. (2007) Mental causation. Philosophical Perspectives 21: 23–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bennett K. (2003) Why the exclusion problem seems intractable, and how, just maybe, to tract it. Noûs 37: 471–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Davidson, D. (1970). Mental events. (Reprinted in Essays on actions and events, 1980, Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  4. Davidson, D. (1993). Thinking causes. (Reprinted in Mental causation, by J. Heil & A. Mele, Eds., 1995, Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  5. Earman J., Roberts J., Smith S. (2002) Ceteris paribus lost. Erkenntnis 57: 281–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fodor J. (1974) Special sciences. Synthese 28: 77–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fodor, J. (1989) Making mind matter more. (Reprinted in A theory of content and other essays, 1990, Cambridge MA: MIT Press).Google Scholar
  8. Fodor J. (1991) You can fool some of the people all of the time, everything else being equal; Hedged laws and psychological explanations. Mind 100: 19–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gillett C., Rives B. (2005) The non-existence of determinables: Or, a world of absolute determinates as default hypothesis. Nous 39: 438–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Honderich T. (1982) The argument for anomalous monism. Analysis 42: 59–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kim J. (1984) Epiphenomenal and supervenient causation. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 9: 257–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kim J. (1998) Mind in a physical world: An essay on the mind-body problem and mental causation. Bradford, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  13. LePore E., Loewer B. (1987) Mind matters. The Journal of Philosophy 84: 630–642Google Scholar
  14. Leiter B., Miller A. (1994) Mind doesn’t matter yet. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72: 220–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lewis D. (1970) How to define theoretical terms. The Journal of Philosophy 67: 427–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Loewer B. (2001) Review of mind in a physical world by Jaegwon Kim. The Journal of Philosophy 98: 315–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mills E. (1996) Interactionism and overdetermination. American Philosophical Quarterly 33: 105–117Google Scholar
  18. Robb D. (1997) The properties of mental causation. Philosophical Quarterly 47: 178–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Robb D. (2001) Reply to Noordhof on mental causation. Philosophical Quarterly 51: 90–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Schiffer S. (1991) Ceteris paribus laws. Mind 100: 1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Shoemaker S. (2001) Realization and mental causation. In: Gillett C., Loewer B. (eds) Physicalism and its discontent. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  22. Shoemaker S. (2007) Physical realization. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sosa E. (1984) Mind–body interaction and supervenient causation. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 9: 271–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Williamson T. (2000) Knowledge and its limits. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  25. Williamson T. (2005) Replies to commentators. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70: 468–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Yablo S. (1992) Mental causation. The Philosophical Review 101: 245–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Yablo S. (1997) Wide causation. Philosophical Perspectives 11: 251–281Google Scholar
  28. Yablo S. (2003) Causal relevance. Philosophical Issues 13: 316–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Puget SoundTacomaUSA

Personalised recommendations