Dependencies, Connections, and Other Relations

A Theory of Mental Causation

  • Wim De Muijnck

Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 93)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxiii
  2. Ontology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages xxxv-xxxv
    2. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 1-13
    3. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 15-23
    4. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 25-40
  3. Causality

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 41-42
    2. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 43-51
    3. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 53-71
    4. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 73-86
    5. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 87-100
    6. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 101-113
    7. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 115-123
    8. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 125-136
    9. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 137-146
    10. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 147-154
    11. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 155-168
    12. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 169-179
  4. Mind

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 181-182
    2. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 183-198
    3. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 199-210
    4. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 211-218
    5. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 219-232
    6. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 233-240
    7. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 241-250
  5. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 251-251
    2. Wim De Muijnck
      Pages 253-259
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 261-288

About this book


The text before you is a study ofthe problematic issue ofmental causation: causation by minds. On hearing the expression 'mental causation,' you may at first think ofsomething like bending spoons by 'psychic' powers. But no, we are dealing here with something much more puzzling: doing things for reasons, i. e. , what we call agency. Psychic spoon-bending would be a fairly straightforward issue. You just exert some psychic force and bend a spoon, just like you might bend it by hand, i. e. , by physical force. The only trouble here is that psychic forces may not be in fact available '. But now you fetch an umbrella because you expect that it will rain. How does that work? Some­ how, it seems, you let an expectation move your limbs. But aren't your limbs already moved by nerve impulses and muscle contractions? And are expecta­ tions the proper kind ofitems to move things around? Mental causation is an issue that is at the heart ofthe mind-body problem, the problem of making it clear how minded creatures such as we are possi­ ble, and what our mindedness consists in. Unlike psychic spoon-bending, mental causation happens every day. At least, pretty much of what we take for granted about ourselves can only be right when mental causation really happens.


15th century concept corpus history of literature issue metaphysics mind natural law ontology philosophy philosophy of mind physics reason subject will

Authors and affiliations

  • Wim De Muijnck
    • 1
  1. 1.Tilburg and Nijmegen UniversityThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2003
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-6326-7
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-0121-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site