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4.7. Mental Causation (Mental Causation on PhilPapers)

See also:
Alward, Peter (online). Making mind matter more or less.   (Google)
Abstract: There comes a time in every young philosopher
Antony, Louise M. & Levine, Joseph (1997). Reduction with autonomy. Philosophical Perspectives 11:83-105.   (Cited by 19 | Google | More links)
Antony, Louise M. (1991). The causal relevance of the mental. Mind and Language 6 (4):295-327.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Aranyosi, István (2008). Excluding exclusion: The natural(istic) dualist approach. Philosophical Explorations 11 (1):67-78.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The exclusion problem for mental causation is one of the most discussed puzzles in the mind-body literature. There has been a general agreement among philosophers, especially because most of them are committed to some form of physicalism, that the dualist cannot escape the exclusion problem. I argue that a proper understanding of dualism --its form, commitments, and intuitions?makes the exclusion problem irrelevant from a dualist perspective. The paper proposes a dualist approach, based on a theory of event causation, according to which events are medium-grained, namely, parsed into mental and physical property components. A theory of contrastive mental causation is built upon this theory of events, for which the problem of exclusion does not arise
Audi, Robert N. (1993). Mental causation: Sustaining and dynamic. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Bakan, David (1980). On effect of mind on matter. In Body & Mind: Past, Present And Future. New York: Academic Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Barrett, J. (1994). Rationalizing explanation and causally relevant mental properties. Philosophical Studies 74 (1):77-102.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Beckermann, Ansgar (1992). States, state types, and the causation of behavior. Erkenntnis 36 (3):267-282.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Bennett, Karen (forthcoming). Exclusion again. In Jakob Hohwy & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: I think that there is an awful lot wrong with the exclusion problem. So, it seems, does just about everybody else. But of course everyone disagrees about exactly _what_ is wrong with it, and I think there is more to be said about that. So I propose to say a few more words about why the exclusion problem is not really a problem after all—at least, not for the nonreductive physicalist. The genuine _dualist_ is still in trouble. Indeed, one of my main points will be that the nonreductive physicalist is in a rather different position vis à vis the exclusion problem than the dualist is. Properly understanding nonreductive physicalism—and clearly recognizing that it is, after all, a form of _physicalism_—goes a long way toward solving the exclusion problem
Bennett, Karen (2007). Mental causation. Philosophy Compass 2 (2):316–337.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Bennett, Karen (online). Mental causation.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: Concerns about ‘mental causation’ are concerns about how it is possible for mental states to cause anything to happen. How does what we believe, want, see, feel, hope, or dread manage to cause us to act? Certain positions on the mind-body problem—including some forms of physicalism—make such causation look highly problematic. This entry sketches several of the main reasons to worry, and raises some questions for further investigation
Blackburn, Simon W. (1991). Losing your mind: Physics, identity, and folk burglar prevention. In John D. Greenwood (ed.), The Future of Folk Psychology. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 11 | Annotation | Google)
Block, Ned (1989). Can the mind change the world? In George S. Boolos (ed.), Meaning and Method: Essays in Honor of Hilary Putnam. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 78 | Annotation | Google)
Block, Ned (2003). Do causal powers drain away. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):133-150.   (Cited by 17 | Google | More links)
Abstract: 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 would give us reason to reject the Causal Exclusion Argument. But there is also a stronger challenge, the charge that, if there is no bottom level of physics, the Causal Exclusion Argument has the consequence that “causal powers would drain away into a bottomless pit and there wouldn’t be any causation anywhere.” (81--page numbers that are not attributed to other works are to Kim, 1998)
Block, Ned (1995). Reply: Causation and two kinds of laws. In C. Macdonald (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology: Debates on Psychological Explanation. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Bontly, Thomas D. (2005). Exclusion, overdetermination, and the nature of causation. Journal of Philosophical Research 30:261-282.   (Google)
Bontly, Thomas D. (2005). Proportionality, causation, and exclusion. Philosophia 32 (1-4):331-348.   (Google | More links)
Bontly, Thomas D. (2002). The supervenience argument generalizes. Philosophical Studies 109 (1):75-96.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   In his recent book, Jaegwon Kim argues thatpsychophysical supervenience withoutpsychophysical reduction renders mentalcausation `unintelligible'. He also claimsthat, contrary to popular opinion, his argumentagainst supervenient mental causation cannot begeneralized so as to threaten the causalefficacy of other `higher-level' properties:e.g., the properties of special sciences likebiology. In this paper, I argue that none ofthe considerations Kim advances are sufficientto keep the supervenience argument fromgeneralizing to all higher-level properties,and that Kim's position in fact entails thatonly the properties of fundamental physicalparticles are causally efficacious
Braun, David M. (1995). Causally relevant properties. Philosophical Perspectives 9:447-75.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I present an analysis of causal relevance for properties. I believe that most of us are already familiar with the notion of a causally relevant property. But some of us may not recognize it "under that description." So I begin below with some intuitive explanations and some illustrative examples
Brewer, Bill (1995). Compulsion by reason (mental causation II). Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 69:237-53.   (Google)
Brewer, Bill (1995). Mental causation: Compulsion by reason. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 69 (69):237-253.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Abstract: The standard paradigm for mental causation is a person’s acting for a reason. Something happens - she intentionally φ’s - the occurrence of which we explain by citing a relevant belief or desire. In the present context, I simply take for granted the following two conditions on the appropriateness of this explanation. First, the agent φ’s _because_ she believes/desires what we say she does, where this is expressive of a _causal_ dependence.1 Second, her believing/desiring this gives her a _reason_ for φ-ing: recognizing that she has this belief/desire makes her φ-ing intelligible as rational in the light of her other attitudes and circumstances. A further condition must be met, though, if this is to be a genuine psychological explanation, a case of her acting _for_ the reason in question. Consider the following example of Davidson’s (1973, p. 79). An exhausted climber is desperate to rid herself of the weight and danger of holding her partner on a rope; and her sudden realization that simply letting go would achieve this so unnerves her that her grip loosens slightly and he falls. Her releasing him causally depends upon her having this belief and desire, which provide _a_ reason for doing what she does. But this is not _why_ she does it: it would be at best misleading to say that she dropped him, intentionally, because she was fed up with holding his weight, or because she thought that she might otherwise fall. Her letting go does not depend upon her having these reasons in the right way. The reason-giving relation is causally irrelevant. If we are to explain a person’s acting _for_ a reason, then her doing
Brewer, Bill (1995). Mental causation, II. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 69 (69):237-253.   (Google)
Bregant, Janez (2003). The problem of causal exclusion and Horgan's causal compatibilism. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (9):305-320.   (Google)
Buckley, R. Philip (2001). Physicalism and the problem of mental causation. Journal of Philosophical Research 26 (January):155-174.   (Google)
Campbell, John (2006). An interventionist approach to causation in psychology. In Alison Gopnik & Larry J. Schulz (eds.), Causal Learning: Psychology, Philosophy and Computation. Oup.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Child, William (1997). Crane on mental causation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (1):97-102.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Chrudzimski, Arkadiusz (2004). Content, rationality and mental causation. Axiomathes 14 (4).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I will address the question of rationalizing mental causation which is involved in the processes of epistemic justification. The main problem concerning mental causation consists in the apparent incompatibility of the three following claims: (i) the subject's mental states (in particular his belief states) are realized by neural states of the subject's brain; (ii) the justifying character of belief transition consists in the fact that there are certain broadly logical relations between the contents of the relevant beliefs; and (iii) all generations of neural states are, at bottom, governed by the purely physical laws. I try to reconciliate the physical necessity of the neural states generation with the logical rationality of the belief transition. Surprisingly enough, it will turn out that, in a sense, each thinking subject is logically perfect. However, in another sense we are exactly as fallible and irrational as our common-sense tells us
Corbí, Josep E. & Prades, Josep L. (2000). Mental contents, tracking counterfactuals, and implementing mechanisms. In The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, Volume 9: Philosophy of Mind. Charlottesville: Philosophy Doc Ctr.   (Google)
Craver, Carl F. & Bechtel, William P. (ms). Explaining top-down causation (away).   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Crane, Tim (2001). Jacob on mental causation. Acta Analytica 16 (26):15-21.   (Google)
Crane, Tim (1992). Mental causation and mental reality. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 66:185-202.   (Cited by 9 | Annotation | Google)
Crane, Tim (1995). Mental causation, I. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 69 (69):211-236.   (Google)
Crane, Tim (1990). On an alleged analogy between numbers and propositions. Analysis 50 (October):224-30.   (Cited by 6 | Annotation | Google)
Crane, Tim (1997). Reply to child. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (1):103-108.   (Google | More links)
Crane, Tim (1995). The mental causation debate (mental causation I). Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 69:211-36.   (Annotation | Google)
Crane, Tim (1995). The mental causation debate. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 69.   (Cited by 19 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper is about a puzzle which lies at the heart of contemporary physicalist theories of mind. On the one hand, the original motivation for physicalism was the need to explain the place of mental causation in the physical world. On the other hand, physicalists have recently come to see the explanation of mental causation as one of their major problems. But how can this be? How can it be that physicalist theories still have a problem explaining something which their physicalism was intended to explain in the first place? If physicalism is meant to be an explanation of mental causation, then why should it still face the problem of mental causation?
Daniel, Steven G. (1998). A defence of Papineau and mental causes. Analysis 58 (2):139-145.   (Google | More links)
Dardis, Anthony B. (2002). A no causal rivalry solution to the problem of mental causation. Acta Analytica 17 (28):69-77.   (Google)
de Muijnck, Wim (2004). Two types of mental causation. Philosophical Explorations 7 (1):21-35.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I distinguish two types of mental causation, called 'higher-level causation' and 'exploitation'. These notions superficially resemble the traditional problematic notions of supervenient causation and downward causation, but they are different in crucial respects. My new distinction is supported by a radically externalist competitor of the so-called Standard View of mental states, i.e. the view that mental states are brain states. I argue that on the Alternative View, the notions of 'higher-level causation' and 'exploitation' can in combination dissolve the problem of mental causation as standardly discussed
Detel, Wolfgang (2007). Mental causation and the notion of action. In Facets of Sociality (Philosophische Analyse/Philosophical Analysis, Volume 15). Heusenstamm Bei Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag.   (Google)
Dretske, Fred (1999). Mental causation. In The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, Volume 2: Metaphysics. Bowling Green: Philosophy Doc Ctr.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Dretske, Fred (1993). Mental events as structuring causes of behavior. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 43 | Annotation | Google)
Ehring, Douglas E. (1996). Mental causation, determinables, and property instances. Noûs 30 (4):461-80.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Ehring, Douglas E. (2003). Part-whole physicalism and mental causation. Synthese 136 (3):359-388.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   A well-known ``overdetermination''argument aims to show that the possibility of mental causes of physical events in a causally closed physical world and the possibility of causally relevant mental properties are both problematic. In the first part of this paper, I extend an identity reply that has been given to the first problem to a property-instance account of causal relata. In the second, I argue that mental types are composed of physical types and, as a consequence, both mental and physical types may be causally relevant with respect to the same physical effect, contrary to the overdetermination argument. In further sections, I argue that mental types have causal powers, consider some objections and reject an alternative version of part-whole physicalism. Throughout I assume that causal relata are tropes and property types are classes of tropes
Elder, Crawford L. (2001). Materialism and the mediated causation of behavior. Philosophical Studies 103 (2):165-75.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Are judgements and wishes reallybrain events (or brain states) which will be affirmedby a completed scientific account of how humanbehavior is caused? Materialists, other thaneliminativists, say Yes. But brain events do notcause muscle contractions, hence bodily movements,directly. They do so, if at all, by triggeringintermediate causes, viz. firings in motor nerves. Soit is crucial, this paper argues, whether they arecharacterized as biological events –performances of naturally-selected-for operations – orinstead as complex microphysical events. ``Acauses B, B causes C, so A causes C'' is defensible forbiological brain events, but fails for microphysical ones
Elder, Crawford L. (2001). Mental causation versus physical causation: No contest. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):110-127.   (Cited by 21 | Google | More links)
Abstract: James decides that the best price today on pork chops is at Supermarket S, then James makes driving motions for twenty minutes, then James’ car enters the parking lot at Supermarket S. Common sense supposes that the stages in this sequence may be causally connected, and that the pattern is commonplace: James’ belief (together with his desire for pork chops) causes bodily behavior, and the behavior causes a change in James’ whereabouts. Anyone committed to the idea that beliefs and desires are states installed by evolution must, it seems, think something similar. For how can one see beliefs and desires as conferring selective advantage if not by supposing that, by causing bodily behavior in their subjects, they brought about changes in their subjects’ surroundings? Yet many, many philosophers currently think or worry that mental causation is illusory (see, e.g., Heil and Mele 1993, or Macdonald and Macdonald 1995). Any physical changes which a mental state appears to cause can be viewed as a complex event involving microparticles, and for any such complex event, many philosophers suppose, there will have been previous microphysical occurrences sufficient to cause it. Barring routine overdetermination of such complex events, the apparent causation of mental events seems to be excluded. Nor does it help to say that some salient segment of the previous microphysical event just is the mental event, differently described (Davidson 1970). For describing the previous events as microphysical seems to spotlight the very features in virtue of which they did their causal work; the mental features seem epiphenomenal (Yablo 1992b: pp. 425-36; Yablo 1992a). This paper argues that the complex physical events, which mental events seem excluded from causing, are not caused at all. For they are either accidents, in something like Aristotle’s sense (Sorabji 1980: pp. 3-25), or coincidences, in a sense which David Owens has recently sharpened (Owens 1992)
Elder, Crawford L. (1999). Physicalism and the fallacy of composition. Philosophical Quarterly 49 (200):332-43.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: A mutation alters the hemoglobin in some members of a species of antelope, and as a result the members fare better at high altitudes than their conspecifics do; so high-altitude foraging areas become open to them that are closed to their conspecifics; they thrive, reproduce at a greater rate, and the gene for altered hemoglobin spreads further through the gene pool of the species. That sounds like a classic example (owed to Karen Neander, 1995) of a causal chain traced by evolutionary biology. But a view now nearly universal among philosophers maintains that such biological causation is always shadowed, perhaps even rivaled, by causation on a different level.1 That the subgroup of antelopes forages in areas closed to the conspecifics is a state of affairs embodied or realized, notes this view, in certain movements and state changes done by certain physical microparticles—untold billions of microparticles and movements, but a finite and determinate (more on this below) collection nevertheless. That the subgroup reproduces at a greater rate is likewise realized by a huge collection of microparticle movements, a different collection. And the microparticle happenings comprised in the first collection are causally responsible, strictly in accordance with the laws of microphysics, for the microparticle happenings in the second. Biological causation is always shadowed, perhaps even rivaled, by causation on the level of microphysics. The view I mean is general: any case of causing uncovered by any of the special sciences can be recaptured at the level of microphysics. This view is I think what most philosophers mean by “physicalism”; in any case, “physicalism” is the label I shall use. Physicalism comes in two forms. Modest physicalism holds that any causal transaction reported by the special sciences can be retraced by microphysics.2 Hegemonic physicalism holds that retracing such a transaction at the level of..
Ellis, Ralph D. (2001). Can dynamical systems explain mental causation? Journal of Mind And Behavior 22 (3):311-334.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Esfeld, Michael (ms). Mental causation and the metaphysics of causation.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The paper argues for four claims: (1) The problem of mental causation and the argument for its solution in terms of the identity of mental with physical causes are independent of the theory of causation one favours. (2) If one considers our experience of agency as described by folk psychology to be veridical, one is committed to an anti-Humean metaphysics of causation in terms of powers that establish necessary connections. The same goes for functional properties in general. (3) A metaphysics of causation in terms of powers is compatible with physics. (4) If combined with the argument for mental causes being identical with physical causes, that metaphysics leads to a conservative reductionism
Esfeld, Michael (2005). Mental causation and mental properties. Dialectica 59 (1):5-18.   (Google | More links)
Ezquerro, Jesus & Vicente, Agustin (2000). Explanatory exclusion, over-determination, and the mind-body problem. In The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, Volume 9: Philosophy of Mind. Charlottesville: Philosophy Doc Ctr.   (Google)
Fleming, Noel (1969). Mind as the cause of motion. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 47 (August):220-242.   (Google | More links)
Fuhrmann, André (2002). Causal exclusion without explanatory exclusion. Manuscrito 25:177-198.   (Google)
Gallagher, Shaun (online). Self-agency and mental causality.   (Google)
Abstract: I want to explore one small corner of the concept of mental causality. It’s the corner where discussions about mind-body interactions and epiphenomenalism take place. My basic contention is that these discussions are framed in the wrong terms because they are infected by a mind-body dualism which defines the question of mental causality in a classic or standard way: How does a mental event cause my body to do what it does? Setting the question in this way has consequences for ongoing interdisciplinary (psychological, neuroscientific, and philosophical) discussions of mental causation, as well as free will, and for our understanding of what we mean by a sense of agency for action. These concepts, in turn, have much to do with our understanding of what goes wrong in certain instances of psychopathology. I’ll try to get to this issue in the final part of my paper. Let me first set the historical scene of what I am calling this standard way of understanding the problem of mental causality
Garrett, Brian J. (1998). Pluralism, causation, and overdetermination. Synthese 116 (3):355-78.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Gibb, S. C. (2004). The problem of mental causation and the nature of properties. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):464-75.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Despite the fact that the nature of the properties of causation is rarely discussed within the mental causation debate, the implicit assumption is that they are universals as opposed to tropes. However, in recent literature on the problem of mental causation, a new solution has emerged which aims to address the problem by appealing to tropes. It is argued that if the properties of causation are tropes rather than universals, then a psychophysical reductionism can be advanced which does not face the problem of multiple realizability. However, the 'trope solution' rests upon the assumption that one can combine a trope monism with a type dualism. I argue that such a combination cannot be allowed. Given a plausible interpretation of types within a trope ontology, trope monism in fact entails type monism. Consequently, if one identifies mental tropes with physical tropes, one must also identify mental and physical types and in doing so face a modified version of the multiple realizability argument
Gillett, Carl & Rives, Bradley (2005). The nonexistence of determinables: Or, a world of absolute determinates as default hypothesis. Noûs 39 (3):483–504.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: An electron clearly has the property of having a charge of þ1.6 10 19 coulombs, but does it also have the property of being charged ? Philosophers have worried whether so-called ‘determinable’ predicates, such as ‘is charged’, actually refer to determinable properties in the way they are happy to say that determinate predicates, such as ‘has a charge of þ1.6 10 19 coulombs’, refer to determinate properties. The distinction between determinates and determinables is itself fairly new, dating only to its definition by the Cambridge logician W. E. Johnson early in the last century.1 But despite its newly minted condition the distinction has found little currency in on-going philosophical debates. Or at least until recently. Renewed interest in realist positions about properties, and arguments that the determinable-determinate relation may hold the key to understanding mental causation, have thrust Johnson’s distinction to the fore. With this new attention has also come new ‘optimistic’ positions that endorse the existence of determinable properties. David Armstrong, Evan Fales, and Sydney Shoemaker, among others, have all defended such optimistic accounts that take determinable predicates, such as ‘is charged’, to refer to determinable properties.2 In this paper, our goal is to carefully assess optimism and to argue that a pessimistic view, which rejects the existence of determinable properties, is actually the appropriate default position
Goldberg, Sanford C. (2002). Mentalistic explanation and mental causation. Manuscrito 25:199-216.   (Google)
Hansen, Carsten M. (2000). Between a rock and a hard place: Mental causation and the mind-body problem. Inquiry 43 (4):451-491.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Hardcastle, Valerie Gray (1998). On the matter of minds and mental causation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (1):1-25.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Heil, John (1992). Mentality and causality. Topoi 11 (1):103-110.   (Annotation | Google | More links)
Heil, John (2002). Mental causation. In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.   (Cited by 93 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This volume presents a collection of new, specially written essays by a diverse group of philosophers, including Donald Davidson, Ted Honderich, and Philip Pettit, each of whom is widely known for defending a particular conception of minds and their place in nature
Heil, John (1991). On the cutting edge: Philosophical perspectives on mental causation. Philosophical Papers 20 (2):113-137.   (Google)
Henderson, David K. (1994). Account for macro-level causation. Synthese 101 (2):129-156.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   By a macro-level feature, I understand any feature that supervenes on, and is thus realized in, lower-level features. Recent discussions by Kim have suggested that such features cannot be causally relevant insofar as they are not classically reducible to lower-level features. This seems to render macro-level features causally irrelevant. I defend the causal relevance of some such features. Such features have been thought causally relevant in many examples that have underpinned philosophical work on causality. Additionally, in certain typical biological cases, we conceive of causally relevant features at various compatible levels of analysis. When elaborated, these points make a strong prima facie case for macro-level causal relevance. However, we might abandon both the philosophical guideposts and the corresponding explanatory practice in the special sciences were we convinced that no reflective philosophical account could provide for the causal relevance there supposed. I show that such drastic measures are not necessary, for we can make sense of macro-level causal relevance by drawing on Paul Humphreys' recent work in ways suggested by the concrete examples considered here
Honderich, Ted (1993). The union theory and anti-individualism. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 4 | Annotation | Google)
Hornsby, Jennifer (1993). Agency and causal explanation. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 26 | Google)
Horgan, Terence E. (1997). Kim on mental causation and causal exclusion. Philosophical Perspectives 11:165-84.   (Cited by 40 | Google | More links)
Horgan, Terence E. (1989). Mental quausation. Philosophical Perspectives 3:47-74.   (Cited by 50 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Iseminger, Gary (1969). Malcolm on explanations and causes. Philosophical Studies 20 (October):73-77.   (Google | More links)
Jackson, Frank & Pettit, Philip (1990). Causation and the philosophy of mind. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Supplement 50:195-214.   (Cited by 22 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Jackson, Frank (1995). Essentialism, mental properties, and causation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 95:253-268.   (Cited by 9 | Annotation | Google)
Jackson, Frank (1996). Mental causation. Mind 105 (419):377-413.   (Cited by 42 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: I survey recent work on mental causation. The discussion is conducted under the twin presumptions that mental states, including especially what subjects believe and desire, causally explain what subjects do, and that the physical sciences can in principle give a complete explanation for each and every bodily movement. I start with sceptical discussions of various views that hold that, in some strong sense, the causal explanations offered by psychology are autonomous with respect to those offered by the physical sciences. I then proceed to views that see the problem of mental causation as that of identifying where in the physical story about us and our world lie the parts that in effect tell us abut mental causation - the kind of position that is pretty much standard in the cognitive science community - and consider issues raised by various forms of functionalism and externalism. The general thrust of my discussion is sympathetic to the story about mental causation suggested by those type-type versions of the mind-brain identity theory that allow for the possiblity of multiple realisability. I include a brief discussion of how a map-system account of belief, by contrast with a language of thought one, should understand explanations of behaviour in terms of what a subject believes
Jackson, Frank & Pettit, Philip (1990). Program explanation: A general perspective. Analysis 50 (2):107-17.   (Cited by 74 | Google)
Jaworski, William (2006). Mental causation from the top-down. Erkenntnis 65 (2):277-299.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Dual-attribute theories are alleged to face a problem with mental causation which commits them to either epiphenomenalism or overdetermination – neither of which is attractive. The problem, however, is predicated on assumptions about psychophysical relations that dual-attribute theorists are not obliged to accept. I explore one way they can solve the problem by rejecting those assumptions
Kazez, J. R. (1995). Can counterfactuals save mental causation? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (1):71-90.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Kim, Jaegwon (2003). Blocking causal drainage and other maintenance chores with mental causation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):151-176.   (Google | More links)
Kim, Jaegwon (2007). Causation and mental causation. In Brian P. McLaughlin & Jonathan D. Cohen (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.   (Google)
Kim, Jaegwon (1997). Does the problem of mental causation generalize? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (3):281-97.   (Cited by 20 | Google | More links)
Kim, Jaegwon (1990). Explanatory exclusion and the problem of mental causation. In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Information, Semantics, and Epistemology. Blackwell.   (Cited by 42 | Annotation | Google)
Kim, Jaegwon (2000). How can my mind move my Limbs? Mental causation from Descartes to contemporary physicalism. Philosophic Exchange 30:5-16.   (Google)
Kim, Jaegwon (1993). Mental causation in a physical world. In Villanueva, E. (1993). Science and Knowledge. Ridgeview.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Kim, Jaegwon (1995). Mental causation: What? Me worry? Philosophical Issues 6:123-151.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Kim, Jaegwon (2000). Mind in a Physical World: An Essay on the Mind-Body Problem and Mental Causation. MIT Press.   (Cited by 520 | Google)
Abstract: This book, based on Jaegwon Kim's 1996 Townsend Lectures, presents the philosopher's current views on a variety of issues in the metaphysics of the mind...
Kim, Jaegwon (2002). Preécis of mind in a physical world. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):640–643.   (Google | More links)
Kim, Sungsu (2000). Supervenience and causations: A probabilistic approach. Synthese 122 (3):245-259.   (Google)
Abstract:   It is often argued that if a mentalproperty supervenes on a physical property, then (1)the mental property M ``inherits'''' its causal efficacyfrom the physical property P and (2) the causalefficacy of M reduces to that of P. However, once weunderstand the supervenience thesis and the concept ofcausation probabilistically, it turns out that we caninfer the causal efficacy of M from that of P andvice versa if and only if a certain condition, whichI call the ``line-up'''' thesis, holds. I argue that thesupervenience thesis entails neither this conditionnor its denial. I also argue that even when theline-up thesis holds true, reductionism about thecausal efficacy of the mental property doesn''tfollow
Kim, Jaegwon (1999). Supervenient properties and micro-based concepts: A reply to Noordhof. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (1):115-118.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Kim, Jaegwon (1992). The nonreductivist's trouble with mental causation. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.   (Annotation | Google)
Kroedel, Thomas (2008). Mental causation as multiple causation. Philosophical Studies 139 (1).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The paper argues that mental causation can be explained from the sufficiency of counterfactual dependence for causation together with relatively weak assumptions about the metaphysics of mind. If a physical event counterfactually depends on an earlier physical event, it also counterfactually depends on, and hence is caused by, a mental event that correlates with (or supervenes on) this earlier physical event, provided that this correlation (or supervenience) is sufficiently modally robust. This account of mental causation is consistent with the overdetermination of physical events by mental events and other physical events, but does not entail it
Kvart, Igal (online). Can counterfactuals save mental causation?   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper I rely on my account of counterfactuals in order to argue that supervenience and epiphenomenalism are incompatible. This argument is strong when directed against a freestanding epiphenomenalism. Along the way I will also argue that Davidson’s argument in favor of mental causation is not valid. A crucial intermediate point in the argument is the issue of counterfactual transitivity. I argue that, even though in general counterfactual transitivity is invalid, a valid sub-inference can be specified. I also specify under what conditions the inference from a counterfactual to cause holds. Section 1: Supervenience, counterfactuals, mental causation and Davidson. In his “Thinking Causes”,1 Davidson provided the following account, and argument in favor, of mental causation
Lackey, Jennifer (2002). Explanation and mental causation. Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):375-393.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Leiter, Brian & Miller, Alexander (1998). Closet dualism and mental causation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):161-181.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Leiter, Brian & Miller, Alexander (1994). Mind doesn't matter yet. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (2):220-28.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google | More links)
LePore, Ernest & Loewer, Barry M. (1989). More on making mind matter. Philosophical Topics 17 (1):175-91.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google)
Loewer, Barry M. (2007). Mental causation, or something near enough. In Brian P. McLaughlin & Jonathan D. Cohen (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.   (Google)
Lowe, E. J. (2003). Physical causal closure and the invisibility of mental causation. In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Lowe, E. J. (1999). Self, agency, and mental causation. Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (8):225-239.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Ludwig, Kirk A. (1993). Dretske on explaining behavior. Acta Analytica 11 (11):111-124.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
MacDonald, Cynthia & MacDonald, Graham (2006). Beyond program explanation. In Geoffrey Brennan, Robert E. Goodin & Michael A. Smith (eds.), Common Minds: Essays in Honour of Philip Pettit.   (Google)
Macdonald, Cynthia & Macdonald, Graham F. (1995). Causal relevance and explanatory exclusion. In C. Macdonald (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology: Debates on Psychological Explanation. Cambridge: Blackwell.   (Google)
Macdonald, Graham (2007). Emergence and causal powers. Erkenntnis 67 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper argues that the non-reductive monist need not be concerned about the ‘problem’ of mental causation; one can accept both the irreducibility of mental properties to physical properties and the causal closure of the physical. More precisely, it is argued that instances of mental properties can be causally efficacious, and that there is no special barrier to seeing mental properties whose instances are causally efficacious as being causally relevant to the effects they help to bring about. It is then shown that the causal relevance of mental properties is consistent with there being no downward causation, so the dilemma of ‘epiphenomenalism or reduction’ can be avoided. Non-reductive monism lives on as a viable position in the philosophy of mind
Macdonald, C. & Macdonald, Graham F. (1995). How to be psychologically relevant. In C. Macdonald (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology: Debates on Psychological Explanation. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Abstract: How did I raise my arm? The simple answer is that I raised it as a consequence of intending to raise it. A slightly more complicated response would mention the absence of any factors which would inhibit the execution of the intention- and a more complicated one still would specify the intention in terms of a goal (say, drinking a beer) which requires arm-raising as a means towards that end. Whatever the complications, the simple answer appears to be on the right track
Mackie, J. L. (1979). Mind, brain, and causation. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4:19-29.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Macdonald, C. & Macdonald, Graham F. (1986). Mental causes and explanation of action. Philosophical Quarterly 36 (April):145-58.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Macdonald, C. & Macdonald, Graham F. (1991). Mental causation and nonreductive monism. Analysis 51 (January):23-32.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
MacDonald, Cynthia & MacDonald, Graham (2006). The metaphysics of mental causation. Journal of Philosophy 103 (11):539-576.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: A debate has been raging in the philosophy of mind for at least the past two decades. It concerns whether the mental can make a causal difference to the world. Suppose that I am reading the newspaper and it is getting dark. I switch on the light, and continue with my reading. One explanation of why my switching on of the light occurred is that a desiring with a particular content (that I continue reading), a noticing with a particular content (that it is getting dark), and a believing with a particular content (that by switching on the light I could continue reading) occurred in me, and these events caused my switching on of the light. This explanation works by citing the intentional contents of mental phenomena as causes of that action. It is because the intentional causes have the contents that they do, and because those contents play a causal role in bringing about my action, that my action is causally explained
Macdonald, Graham F. (1992). The nature of naturalism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 66 (66):225-44.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Marras, Ausonio (2000). Critical notice of Jaegwon Kim mind in a physical world: An essay on the mind-body problem and mental causation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):137-159.   (Google)
Marras, Ausonio (1998). Kim's principle of explanatory exclusion. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (3):439-451.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Marras, Ausonio (2003). Methodological and ontological aspects of the mental causation problem. In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic.   (Google)
Marcus, Eric (2005). Mental causation in a physical world. Philosophical Studies 122 (1):27-50.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Abstract: It is generally accepted that the most serious threat to the possibility of mental causation is posed by the causal self-sufficiency of physical causal processes. I argue, however, that this feature of the world, which I articulate in principle I call Completeness, in fact poses no genuine threat to mental causation. Some find Completeness threatening to mental causation because they confuse it with a stronger principle, which I call Closure. Others do not simply conflate Completeness and Closure, but hold that Completeness, together with certain plausible assumptions, _entails_ Closure. I refute the most fully worked-out version of such an argument. Finally, some find Completeness all by itself threatening to mental causation. I argue that one will only find Completeness threatening if one operates with a philosophically distorted conception of mental causation. I thereby defend what I call naïve realism about mental causation
Marcus, Eric (2001). Mental causation: Unnaturalized but not unnatural. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):57-83.   (Cited by 22 | Google | More links)
Abstract: If a woman in the audience at a presentation raises her hand, we would take this as evidence that she intends to ask a question. In normal circumstances, we would be right to say that she raises her hand because she intends to ask a question. We also expect that there could, in principle, be a causal explanation of her hand’s rising in purely physiological terms. Ordinarily, we take the existence and compatibility of both kinds of causes for granted. But this can come to seem strange. When we imagine tracking the physiological process that culminates in her hand’s rising, it is hard to find a purchase for her intention. The physiological process seems not to need assistance from her intention in order to get where it’s going, chugging along as it does according to principles that appear to have very little in common with ordinary psychological ones. The presumed self-sufficiency of physiological processes can, in a similar fashion, appear to muscle psychological states quite generally out of the causal picture
Marras, Ausonio (1994). Nonreductive materialism and mental causation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (3):465-93.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Marras, Ausonio (1997). The causal relevance of mental properties. Philosophia 25 (1-4):389-400.   (Google | More links)
McDermott, Drew (2001). The digital computer as red Herring. Psycoloquy 12 (54).   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Stevan Harnad correctly perceives a deep problem in computationalism, the hypothesis that cognition is computation, namely, that the symbols manipulated by a computational entity do not automatically mean anything. Perhaps, he proposes, transducers and neural nets will not have this problem. His analysis goes wrong from the start, because computationalism is not as rigid a set of theories as he thinks. Transducers and neural nets are just two kinds of computational system, among many, and any solution to the semantic problem that works for them will work for most other computational systems
McGrath, M. (1998). Proportionality and mental causation: A fit? Philosophical Perspectives 12:167-176.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Menzies, Peter (2000). Mental causation for event dualists. Mind and Language 9 (3):336-366.   (Google)
Abstract: The philosophical problem of mental causation concerns a clash between commonsense and scientific views about the causation of human behaviour. On the one hand, commonsense suggests that our actions are caused by our mental states—our thoughts, intentions, beliefs and so on. On the other hand, neuroscience assumes that all bodily movements are caused by neurochemical events. It is implausible to suppose that our actions are causally overdetermined in the same way that the ringing of a bell may be overdetermined by two hammers striking it at the same time. So how are we to reconcile these two views about the causal origins of human behaviour? One philosophical doctrine effects a nice reconciliation. Neuralism, or the token-identity theory, states that every particular mental event is a neurophysiological event and that every action is a physically specifiable bodily movement. If these identities hold, there is no problem of causal overdetermination: the apparently different causal pathways to the behaviour are actually one and the same pathway viewed from different perspectives. This attractively simple view is enjoying a recent revival in fortunes
Menzies, Peter & List, Christian (forthcoming). The Causal Autonomy of the Special Sciences. In Cynthia Mcdonald & Graham Mcdonald (eds.), Emergence and Causation.   (Google)
Menzies, Peter (2003). The causal efficacy of mental states. In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic.   (Cited by 13 | Google | More links)
Abstract: You are asked to call out the letters on a chart during an eyeexamination: you see and then read out the letters ‘U’, ‘R’, and ‘X’. Commonsense says that your perceptual experiences causally control your calling out the letters. Or suppose you are playing a game of chess intent on winning: you plan your strategy and move your chess pieces accordingly. Again, commonsense says that your intentions and plans causally control your moving the chess pieces. These causal judgements are as plain and evident as any can be
Meyering, Theo C. (1999). Mind matters: Physicalism and the autonomy of the person. In Neuroscience and the Person: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action. Notre Dame: University Notre Dame Press.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Murphy, Nancey C. (1999). Supervenience and the downward efficacy of the mental: A nonreductive physicalist account of human action. In Neuroscience and the Person: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action. Notre Dame: University Notre Dame Press.   (Cited by 10 | Google)
Nannini, S. (2004). Mental causation and intentionality in a mind naturalising theory. In Alberto Peruzzi (ed.), Mind and Causality. John Benjamins.   (Google | More links)
Noordhof, Paul (1998). Do tropes resolve the problem of mental causation? Philosophical Quarterly 48 (191):221-26.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Noordhof, Paul (online). Getting personal: Pietroski's dualism.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Noordhof, Paul (1999). Micro-based properties and the supervenience argument: A response to Kim. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (1):115-18.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Noordhof, Paul (1997). Making the change: The functionalist's way. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (2):233-50.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The paper defends Functionalism against the charge that it would make mental properties inefficacious. It outlines two ways of formulating the doctrine that mental properties are Functional properties and shows that both allow mental properties to be efficacious. The first (Lewis) approach takes functional properties to be the occupants of causal roles. Block [1990] has argued that mental properties should not be characterized in this way because it would make them properties of the ?implementing science?, e. g. neuroscience. I show why this is not a problem. The second way of formulating the doctrine takes functional properties to be causal role properties. I claim that mental properties so understood would only be inefficacious if a law-centred rather than a property-centred approach is adopted to the introduction of efficacy into the world. I develop a property-centred account that explains how mental properties can be efficacacious without introducing systematic overdetermination. At the close, I provide a better characterization of the difference between these two approaches and offer an explanation as to why my way of resolving the problems has been missed
Noordhof, Paul (2002). Personal dualism and the argument from differential vagueness. Philosophical Papers 31 (1):63-86.   (Google | More links)
Noordhof, Paul (1999). The overdetermination argument versus the cause-and-essence principle--no contest. Mind 108 (430):367-375.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Scott Sturgeon has claimed to undermine the principal argument for Physicalism, in his words, the view that 'actuality is exhausted by physical reality' (Sturgeon 1998, p. 410). In noting that actuality is exhausted by physical reality, the Physicalist is not claiming that all that there is in actuality are those things identified by physics. Rather the thought is that actuality is made up of all the things identified by physics and anything which is a compound of these things. So there are tables as well as their microphysical constituents. The argument that Sturgeon has in his sights is the Overdetermination Argument. In what follows, I shall argue that Sturgeon's criticism of the Overdetermination argument fails. I shall also argue that physicalism can accommodate his claim that causal statements concerning the mental and physical respectively may require diverse patterns of counterfactual activity for their truth
Palmer, Anthony J. (1995). Direct reference, mental causation and consciousness: Old wine in new bottles. Philosophical Investigations 18 (1):65-73.   (Google)
Peruzzi, Alberto (2004). Causality in the texture of mind. In Mind and Causality. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.   (Google)
Pettit, Philip (1992). The nature of naturalism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 66 (66):245-66.   (Cited by 5 | Annotation | Google)
Pietroski, Paul M. & Menzies, Peter (2003). Causing actions. Mind and Language 18 (4):440-446.   (Cited by 26 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Paul Pietroski presents an original philosophical theory of actions and their mental causes. We often act for reasons, deliberating and choosing among options, based on our beliefs and desires. But because bodily motions always have biochemical causes, it can seem that thinking and acting are biochemical processes. Pietroski argues that thoughts and deeds are in fact distinct from, though dependent on, underlying biochemical processes within persons
Pineda, David (2005). Causal exclusion and causal homogeneity. Dialectica 59 (1):63-66.   (Google | More links)
Pineda, David (2002). The causal exclusion puzzle. European Journal of Philosophy 10 (1):26-42.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In a series of influential articles (Kim 1989b, 1992b, 1993a and 1998), Jaegwon Kim has developed a strong argument against nonreductive physicalism as a plausible solution to mental causation. The argument is commonly called the ’causal exclusion argument’, and it has become, over the years, one of the most serious threats to the nonreductivist point of view
Polger, Thomas W. (1998). Escaping the epiphenomenal trap. Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I describe a feature of the debate between Functionalists and Anti-Functionalists in philosophy of mind that I call The Epiphenomenal Trap. I argue that the dialectic is a trap because neither side can resolve the central metaphysical issue as it has been put. That is because the debate typically trades in possible explanations. So long as Functionalists and Anti-Functionalists continue to debate whether functionalist explanations are possible, the central metaphysical issue cannot be resolved
Raatikainen, Panu (ms). Mental causation, interventions, and contrasts.   (Google)
Abstract: The problem of mental causation is discussed by taking into account some recent developments in the philosophy of science. The problem is viewed from the perspective of the new interventionist theory of causation developed by Woodward. The import of the idea that causal claims involve contrastive classes in mental causation is also discussed. It is argued that mental causation is much less a problem than it has appeared to be
Rabossi, Eduardo A. (2002). Mental causation: Anatomy of a problem. Manuscrito 25:285-304.   (Google)
Raymont, Paul (2001). Are mental properties causally relevant? Dialogue 40 (3):509-528.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: Non-reductive physicalists are increasingly regarded as unwitting epiphenomenalists, since their refusal to reduce mental features to physical properties allegedly implies that while there are mental causes, none of these causes produces its effects in virtue of being the type of mental state that it is. I examine, and reject, the “trope” response to this charge. I take the failure of the trope model of causal relevance to be instructive, since it illustrates a confusion that lies at the heart of the concept of causal relevance, a concept that is central to the criticism of non-reductive physicalism. By identifying this confusion, I hope to dispel the notion that non-reductive physicalism carries any commitment to epiphenomenalism
Raymont, Paul (2003). Kim on closure, exclusion, and nonreductive physicalism. In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic.   (Google)
Raymont, Paul (2003). Kim on overdetermination, exclusion, and nonreductive physicalism. In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Rechenauer, Martin (1994). John Heil and Alfred Mele's mental causation. Erkenntnis 41 (1):121-125.   (Google)
Ritchie, Jack (2005). Causal compatibilism -- what chance? Erkenntnis 63 (1):119-132.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Orthodox physicalism has a problem with mental causation. If physics is complete and mental events are not identical to physical events (as multiple-realisation arguments imply) it seems as though there is no causal work for the mental to do. This paper examines some recent attempts to overcome this problem by analysing causation in terms of counterfactuals or conditional probabilities. It is argued that these solutions cannot simultaneously capture the force of the completeness of physics and make room for mental causation
Rives, Bradley, The non-existence of determinables:Or, a world of absolute determinates as defaulthypothesis.   (Google)
Abstract: An electron clearly has the property of having a charge of þ1.6 Â 10À19 coulombs, but does it also have the property of being charged ? Philosophers have worried whether so-called ‘determinable’ predicates, such as ‘is charged’, actually refer to determinable properties in the way they are happy to say that determinate predicates, such as ‘has a charge of þ1.6 Â 10À19 coulombs’, refer to determinate properties. The distinction between determinates and determinables is itself fairly new, dating only to its definition by the Cambridge logician W. E. Johnson early in the last century.1 But despite its newly minted condition the distinction has found little currency in on-going philosophical debates. Or at least until recently
Robinson, William S. (1979). Do pains make a difference to our behavior? American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (October):327-34.   (Annotation | Google)
Robb, David (2001). Reply to Noordhof on mental causation. Philosophical Quarterly 51 (202):90-94.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Baker, Lynne Rudder (1993). Metaphysics and mental causation. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 52 | Annotation | Google)
Rutgers Marshall, Henry (1912). The causal relation between mind and body. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 9 (18):477-490.   (Google | More links)
Sabates, M. H. (2001). Varieties of exclusion. Theoria 16 (40):13-42.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Schröder, Jürgen (2007). Mental causation and the supervenience argument. Erkenntnis 67 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: One of several problems concerning the possibility of mental causation is that the causal potential of a supervenient property seems to be absorbed by its supervenience base if that base and the supervenient property are not identical. If the causal powers of the supervenient property are a proper subset of the causal powers of the supervenience base then, according to the causal individuation of properties, the supervenience base seems to do all the causal work and the supervenient property appears to be futile. Against this consequence it is possible to argue, first, that the relevant properties of causes must be in some sense proportional to the relevant properties of their effects and, second, that the principle of causal closure serving as a premise in the supervenience argument is probably false. The constraint that the relevant properties of causes should be proportional to the relevant properties of their effects together with the falsity of the closure principle leads to a restoration of the causal efficacy of supervenient properties
Schroder, Jurgen (1999). Mental causation: The supervenience argument and the proportionality constraint. In La Filosofia Analitica En El Cambio de Milenio. Santiago de Compostela: S.I.E.U..   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Schnaitter, Roger (1978). Private causes. Behaviorism 6:1-12.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Schroder, Jurgen (2002). The supervenience argument and the generalization problem. Erkenntnis 56 (3):319-28.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   This paper tries to show that Kims strategy of preventing the problem of generalization of mental causation is not successful and that his original supervenience argument can be applied to cases of nonmental macrolevel causation, with the effect that nonmental macroproperties which only supervene on, but are not identical with, configurations of microproperties turn out to be epiphenomenal after all
Segal, Gabriel (ms). Content and causation.   (Google)
Abstract: Allow me to recapitulate some territory that will be familiar to most readers. Here is how the problem of mental causation has typically been set up since shortly after the onset of non-reductive physicalism. It is now widely assumed that the realm of the physical is causally closed: every physical event has a complete physical cause, a cause that is sufficient for the event’s occurrence. This apparently leaves us with a limited number of options concerning psychological causation, none of which appear hugely attractive. Either: (a) the psychological is epiphenomenal and can have no causal impact on the physical, or (b) the psychological is identical with the physical, or (c) thoughts and actions are all over-determined, each one having two distinct sufficient causes. Option (b) subdivides into two further options. Either (b1) the psychological reduces to the physical and every psychological property is identical with some physical property, or (b2) token psychological events are identical with or constituted from token physical events but psychological properties are not identical with physical properties. (b1) is widely held to be inconsistent with the multiple realisation of the psychological by the physical. And (b2) appears to bring us back to the original problematic, with the properties as the locus of tension. If one event causes another it does so in virtue some of its properties and not others. If I throw a stone at a window and the window breaks, it is because the stone was hard and heavy that it broke the window and not, say, because it was grey and millions of years old. The properties in virtue of which an event has a particular effect are typically called the ‘causally efficacious properties of the cause with respect to the effect.’ Suppose, then that token neural event causes an action. We can ask ‘Does it do so in virtue of its physical properties or its psychological properties?’ and we are back to choosing between options (a) and (c) or returning to (b1)..
Segal, Gabriel (online). The causal inefficacy of psychological properties.   (Google)
Abstract: Please allow me to recapitulate some territory that will be familiar to most readers. Here is how the problem of mental causation has typically been set up since shortly after the onset of non-reductive physicalism. It is now widely assumed that the realm of the physical is causally closed. This means that the probability of any event’s occurring is fully determined by physical causes, and physical causes alone. There is no space in the physical causal nexus for any non-physical event to exert any influence
Shapiro, Larry (forthcoming). Lessons from causal exclusion. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Jaegwon Kim's causal exclusion argument has rarely been evaluated from an empirical perspective. This is puzzling because its conclusion seems to be making a testable claim about the world: supervenient properties are causally inefficacious. An empirical perspective, however, reveals Kim's argument to rest on a mistaken conception about how to test whether a property is causally efficacious. Moreover, the empirical perspective makes visible a metaphysical bias that Kim brings to his argument that involves a principle of non-inclusion
Slors, Marc (1998). Two claims that can save a nonreductive account of mental causation. In Human Action, Deliberation and Causation. Dordrecht: Kluwer.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Sparacio, Micah (2002). Mental realism: Rejecting the causal closure thesis and expanding our physical ontology. Pcid 2 (3-8).   (Google | More links)
Sperry, Roger W. (1975). Mental phenomena as causal determinants in brain functions. Process Studies 5:247-256.   (Cited by 38 | Google)
Stapp, Henry P. (online). Mental causation.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: _ Theoretical Physics Group_ _ Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory_ _ University of California_ _ Berkeley, California 94720_
Stoljar, Daniel (2007). Distinctions in distinction. In Jesper Kallestrup & Jakob Hohwy (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Causation and Explanation in the Special Sciences. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: 1.Puzzle According to a standard view in contemporary metaphysics, there are no necessary connections between distinct properties. But according to a standard view in philosophy of mind there are necessary connections between distinct properties. In short, we have a puzzle: standard metaphysics inconsistent with standard philosophy of mind. By ‘a standard view in contemporary metaphysics’ I mean, of course, Hume’s dictum that there are no necessary connections between distinct existences. I don’t mean the historical Hume; whether the historical Hume held Hume’s dictum I am sure is a controversial issue, and will not concern us. What will concern us rather is the idea that contemporary metaphysicians such as David Lewis and David Armstrong discuss and attribute to Hume (see, e.g., Lewis 1986 and Armstrong 1997). Of course Hume’s dictum does not say anything explicitly about properties; it talks of existences rather than properties. But ‘existences’ I take it, means ‘things that exist’ and, if we set nominalism aside—as I will do here—properties are things that exist. Hence the Humean dictum entails as a special case that there are no necessary connections between distinct properties
Stoljar, Daniel & List, Christian (online). What a dualist should say about the exclusion argument.   (Google)
Abstract: On one very simple formulation, the exclusion argument against dualism starts from the assertion that the following theses are inconsistent:
(1) Being in pain causes me to wince.
(2) Being in phys1 causes me to wince.
(3) Being in pain is distinct from being in phys.
(4) If being in pain causes me to wince, nothing distinct from being in pain
causes me to wince
Stueber, Karsten R. (2005). Mental causation and the paradoxes of explanation. Philosophical Studies 122 (3):243-77.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I will discuss Kims powerful explanatory exclusion argument against the causal efficacy of mental properties. Baker and Burge misconstrue Kims challenge if they understand it as being based on a purely metaphysical understanding of causation that has no grounding in an epistemological analysis of our successful scientific practices. As I will show, the emphasis on explanatory practices can only be effective in answering Kim if it is understood as being part of the dual-explanandum strategy. Furthermore, a fundamental problem of the contemporary debate about mental causation consists in the fact that all sides take very different examples to be paradigmatic for the relation between psychological and neurobiological explanations. Even if we should expect some alignment in the explanatory scope of neurobiology and psychology/folk-psychology, there is no reason to expect that all mental explanations are exempted by physical explanations, since they do not in general explain the same phenomena
Sullivan, Arthur (2004). On causal relevance: A reply to Raymont. Dialogue 43 (2):355-365.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Tanney, Julia (1995). Why reasons may not be causes. Mind and Language 10 (1-2):103-126.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Teichman, Jenny (1961). Mental cause and effect. Mind 70 (January):36-52.   (Google | More links)
Thomasson, Amie L. (1998). A nonreductivist solution to mental causation. Philosophical Studies 89 (2-3):181-95.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Nonreductive physicalism provides an appealing solution to the nature of mental properties. But its success as a theory of mental properties has been called into doubt by claims that it cannot adequately handle the problems of mental causation, as it leads either to epiphenomenalism or to thoroughgoing overdetermination. I argue that these apparent problems for the nonreductivist are based in fundamental confusion about causation and explanation. I distinguish two different types of explanation and two different relations to which they appeal: causation and determination. I argue that these types of explanation do not compete with one another, nor do these relations jointly result in overdetermination. In closing I develop a nonreductivist solution to mental causation which avoids both the hazards of epiphenomenalism and of overdetermination and so demonstrates a way to save nonreductive physicalism from the problems of mental causation
Tienson, John L. (2002). Higher-order causation. Grazer Philosophische Studien 63 (1):89-101.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: We have a familiar idea of levels of description or levels of theory in science: microphysics, atomic physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, and the various social sciences. It is clear that philosophers - such as Terry Horgan - who want to be nonreductive materialists with regard to the mental must hold that this is not mere description; there must be genuine higher-level causes, and hence, genuine higher-level properties, in particular mental properties and causes. But there appears to be a deep problem concerning mental causes. The (micro-) physical world is causally closed. Mental states are - or depend on or are realized by - physical states. It seems, then, that the physical state on which a mental state depends will be responsible for any alleged effects of the mental state. There will be no room for mental causation. And if properties exist insofar at they have a causal role, there will be no room for mental properties either. Many philosophers - Horgan included - have seen this problem of the "causalexclusion" ofthe mental as a specialcase of a general problem:the exclusion of higher-level causes by the causal closure of microphysics. Suppose one higher-level state, H1 leads to another higher-level state, H2. H1 is realized by some base level state, B1, which leads to a base-level state, B2, which in turn realizes H2. All of the casual work, so to speak, takes place at the base level. There is no room for any genuine causal connection between H1, as such, and H2, as such. I argue that there is no problem about higher-order causation in general. There are genuine, unsurprising higher-level causes and properties. A ball roles, for example, or breaks a window. If there is a problem of exclusion regarding putative mental causes, it is not an instance of a general exclusion problem, but is sui generis, and mental causation remains mysterious
Tomberlin, James E. (1995). Mental causation: A query for Kim. In Contents. Atascadero: Ridgeview.   (Google | More links)
Tuomela, Raimo (1998). A defense of mental causation. Philosophical Studies 90 (1):1-34.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
van Gulick, Robert (1993). Who's. In Charge Here? And Who's Doing All the Work? In Mental Causation. New York: Clarendon Press.   (Google)
van Gulick, Robert (1993). Who's in charge here? And who's doing all the work? In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google)
Velmans, Max (2002). How could conscious experiences affect brains? Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (11):3-29.   (Cited by 33 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In everyday life we take it for granted that we have conscious control of some of our actions and that the part of us that exercises control is the conscious mind. Psychosomatic medicine also assumes that the conscious mind can affect body states, and this is supported by evidence that the use of imagery, hypnosis, biofeedback and other ‘mental interventions’ can be therapeutic in a variety of medical conditions. However, there is no accepted theory of mind/body interaction and this has had a detrimental effect on the acceptance of mental causation in science, philosophy and in many areas of clinical practice. Biomedical accounts typically translate the effects of mind into the effects of brain functioning, for example, explaining mind/body interactions in terms of the interconnections and reciprocal control of cortical, neuroendocrine, autonomic and immune systems. While such accounts are instructive, they are implicitly reductionist, and beg the question of how conscious experiences could have bodily effects. On the other hand, non-reductionist accounts have to cope with three problems: 1) The physical world appears causally closed, which would seem to leave no room for conscious intervention. 2) One is not conscious of one’s own brain/body processing, so how could there be conscious control of such processing? 3) Conscious experiences appear to come too late to causally affect the processes to which they most obviously relate. This paper suggests a way of understanding mental causation that resolves these problems. It also suggests that “conscious mental control” needs to be partly understood in terms of the voluntary operations of the preconscious mind, and that this allows an account of biological determinism that is compatible with experienced free will
Velmans, Max (2002). Making sense of causal interactions between consciousness and brain. Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (11):69-95.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: My target article (henceforth referred to as TA) presents evidence for causal interactions between consciousness and brain and some standard ways of accounting for this evidence in clinical practice and neuropsychological theory. I also point out some of the problems of understanding such causal interactions that are not addressed by standard explanations. Most of the residual problems have to do with how to cross the “explanatory gap” from consciousness to brain. I then list some of the reasons why the route across this gap suggested by physicalism won't work, in spite of its current popularity in consciousness studies. My own suggested route across the explanatory gap is more subterranean, where consciousness and brain can be seen to be dual aspects of a unifying, psychophysical mind. Some of the steps on this deeper route still have to be filled in by empirical research. But (as far as I can judge) there are no gaps that cannot be filled—just a different way of understanding consciousness, mind, brain and their causal interaction, with some interesting consequences for our understanding of free will. The commentaries on TA examined many aspects of my thesis viewed from both Western and Eastern perspectives. This reply focuses on how dual-aspect monism compares with currently popular alternatives such as “nonreductive physicalism”, clarifies my own approach, and reconsiders how well this addresses the “hard” problems of consciousness. We re-examine how conscious experiences relate to their physical/functional correlates and whether useful analogies can be drawn with other, physical relationships that appear to have dual-aspects. We also examine some fundamental differences between Western and Eastern thought about whether the existence of the physical world or the existence of consciousness can be taken for granted (with consequential differences about which of these is “hard” to understand). I then suggest a form of dual-aspect Reflexive Monism that might provide a path between these ancient intellectual traditions that is consistent with science and with common sense
Vicente, Agustín (2004). The overdetermination argument revisited. Minds and Machines 14 (3):331-47.   (Google | More links)
Abstract:   In this paper I discuss a famous argument for physicalism – which some authors indeed regard as the only argument for it – the overdetermination argument. In fact it is an argument that does not establish that all the entities in the world are physical, but that all those events that enter into causal transactions with the physical world are physical. As mental events seem to cause changes in the physical world, the mind is one of those things that fall within the scope of the argument. Here I analyze one response to the overdetermination argument that has acquired some popularity lately, and which consists in saying that what mental events cause are not physical effects. I try to show that recent attempts to develop this response are not successful, but that there may be a coherent way of doing so. I also try to show that there seems to be a philosophical niche in which this way might fit
Vincente, Agustín (2001). Realization, determination and mental causation. Theoria 16 (40):77-94.   (Google)
Walter, Sven (2007). Determinables, determinates, and causal relevance. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (2):217-244.   (Google | More links)
Walden, Scott (2001). Kim's causal efficacy. Southern Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):441-460.   (Google)
Walter, Sven & Heckmann, Heinz-Dieter (eds.) (2003). Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic.   (Google | More links)
Walter, Sven (2005). Program explanations and the causal relevance of mental properties. Acta Analytica 20:32-47.   (Google)
Walter, Sven (2005). Program explanations and causal relevance. Acta Analytica 20 (36):32-47.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit have defended a non-reductive account of causal relevance known as the ‘program explanation account’. Allegedly, irreducible mental properties can be causally relevant in virtue of figuring in non-redundant program explanations which convey information not conveyed by explanations in terms of the physical properties that actually do the ‘causal work’. I argue that none of the possible ways to spell out the intuitively plausible idea of a program explanation serves its purpose, viz., defends non-reductive physicalism against Jaegwon Kim’s Causal Exclusion Argument according to which non-reductive physicalism is committed to epiphenomenalism because irreducible mental properties are ‘screened off’ from causal relevance by their physical realizers. Jackson and Pettit’s most promising explication of a program explanation appeals to the idea of invariance of effect under variation of realization , but I show that invariance of effect under variation of realization is neither necessary nor sufficient for causal relevance
Walter, Sven (2007). The epistemological approach to mental causation. Erkenntnis 67 (2).   (Google)
Abstract: Epistemological approaches to mental causation argue that the notorious problem of mental causation as captured in the question “How can irreducible, physically realized, and potentially relational mental properties be causally efficacious in the production of physical effects?” has a very simple solution: One merely has to abandon any metaphysical considerations in favor of epistemological considerations and accept that our explanatory practice is a much better guide to causal relevance than the metaphysical reasoning carried out from the philosophical armchair. I argue that epistemological approaches to mental causation do not enjoy any genuine advantage over theories which treat the problem of mental causation as a genuinely metaphysical problem
Whittle, Ann (2007). The co-instantiation thesis. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):61 – 79.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The co-instantiation thesis is pivotal to a significant solution to the problem of causal exclusion. But this thesis has been subject to some powerful objections. In this paper, I argue that these difficulties arise because the thesis lacks the necessary metaphysical framework in which its claims should be interpreted and understood. Once this framework is in place, we see that the co-instantiation thesis can answer its critics. The result is a rehabilitated co-instantiation solution to the troubling problem of causal exclusion. But questions remain concerning the viability of certain of its applications
Witmer, D. Gene (2003). Functionalism and causal exclusion. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (2):198-215.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Wolgast, Elizabeth H. (1998). Mental causes and the will. Philosophical Investigations 21 (1):24-43.   (Google | More links)
Worley, Sara (1997). Determination and mental causation. Erkenntnis 46 (3):281-304.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Yablo suggests that we can understand the possibility of mental causation by supposing that mental properties determine physical properties, in the classic sense of determination according to which red determines scarlet. Determinates and their determinables do not compete for causal relevance, so if mental and physical properties are related as determinable and determinates, they should not compete for causal relevance either. I argue that this solution won''t work. I first construct a more adequate account of determination than that provided by Yablo. I then consider two common accounts of the mental, token identity theories and dispositional theories, and argue that on neither do mental and physical properties satisfy the requirements for determination
Worley, Sara (1993). Mental causation and explanatory exclusion. Erkenntnis 39 (3):333-358.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Kim argues that we can never have more than one complete and independent explanation for a single event. The existence of both mental and physical explanations for behavior would seem to violate this principle. We can avoid violating it only if we suppose that mental causal relationships supervene on physical causal relationships. I argue that although his solution is attractive in many respects, it will not do as it stands. I propose an alternate understanding of supervenient causation which preserves the advantages of Kim's account while avoiding the problems. My analysis involves appeal to counterfactuals. Any counterfactual analysis must confront the problem that mental states appear to be screened off from causal relevance by physical states. I argue that screening off is not a problem, because cases in which mental states appear to be screened off are cases in which background conditions are not held constant
Wyllie, Robert (1980). Causal explanations in mental event contexts. Philosophical Papers 9 (May):15-31.   (Google)
Yablo, Stephen (2003). Causal relevance. Philosophical Issues 13 (1):316-28.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Yablo, Stephen (1992). Mental causation. Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.   (Cited by 159 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Yablo, Stephen (2001). Superproportionality and mind-body relations. Theoria 16 (40):65-75.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Yablo, Stephen (2000). Seven habits of highly effective thinkers. In Bernard Elevitch (ed.), Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy Vol. 9. Philosophy Documentation Center.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Yoo, Julie (online). Mental causation. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.   (Google)
Zangwill, Nick (1996). Good old supervenience: Mental causation on the cheap. Synthese 106 (1):67-101.   (Cited by 8 | Annotation | Google | More links)

4.7a Anomalous Monism and Mental Causation

Macdonald, Cynthia (2006). 'The Metaphysics of Mental Causation'. The Journal of Philosophy 103 (11):539-576.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: A debate has been raging in the philosophy of mind for at least the past two decades. It concerns whether the mental can make a causal difference to the world. Suppose that I am reading the newspaper and it is getting dark. I switch on the light, and continue with my reading. One explanation of why my switching on of the light occurred is that a desiring with a particular content (that I continue reading), a noticing with a particular content (that it is getting dark), and a believing with a particular content (that by switching on the light I could continue reading) occurred in me, and these events caused my switching on of the light. This explanation works by citing the intentional contents of mental phenomena as causes of that action. It is because the intentional causes have the contents that they do, and because those contents play a causal role in bringing about my action, that my action is causally explained
Nathan, N. M. L. (1981). On an argument of Peacocke's about physicalism and counterfactuals. Analysis 41 (3):124-125.   (Google)
Robb, David & Heil, John (online). Mental Causation. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.   (Google)
Abstract: Worries about mental causation are prominent in contemporary discussions of the mind and human agency. Originally, the problem of mental causation was that of understanding how a mental substance (thought to be immaterial) could interact with a material substance, a body. Most philosophers nowadays repudiate immaterial minds, but the problem of mental causation has not gone away. Instead, focus has shifted to mental properties. How could mental properties be causally relevant to bodily behavior? How could something mental qua mental cause what it does? After looking at the traditional Problem of Interaction, we survey various versions of the property-based problem and look at proposed solutions to them.

4.7b Functionalism and Mental Causation

Antony, Louise M. (1995). I'm a mother, I worry. Content 6:160-166.   (Google | More links)
Rupert, Robert D. (2006). Functionalism, mental causation, and the problem of metaphysically necessary effects. Noûs 40 (2):256-83.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)

4.7c The Exclusion Problem

Ney, Alyssa (2007). Can an appeal to constitution solve the exclusion problem? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (4):486–506.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Jaegwon Kim has argued that unless mental events are reducible to subvening physical events, they are at best overdeterminers of their effects. Recently, nonreductive physicalists have endorsed this consequence claiming that the relationship between mental events and their physical bases is tight enough to render any such overdetermination nonredundant, and hence benign. I focus on instances of this strategy that appeal to the notion of constitution. Ultimately, I argue that there is no way to understand the relationship between irreducible mental events and their physical bases such as to both eliminate causal redundancy and preserve the efficacy of mental events
Austin, James W. (1980). Wittgenstein's solutions to the color exclusion problem. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 41 (September-December):142-149.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Bennett, Karen (2003). Why the exclusion problem seems intractable and how, just maybe, to tract it. Noûs 37 (3):471-97.   (Cited by 22 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The basic form of the exclusion problem is by now very, very familiar. 2 Start with the claim that the physical realm is causally complete: every physical thing that happens has a sufficient physical cause. Add in the claim that the mental and the physical are distinct. Toss in some claims about overdetermination, give it a stir, and voilá—suddenly it looks as though the mental never causes anything, at least nothing physical. As it is often put, the physical does all the work, and there is nothing left for the mental to do
Bregant, Janez (2004). Van Gulick's solution of the exclusion problem revisited. Acta Analytica 19 (33):83-94.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The anti-reductionist who wants to preserve the causal efficacy of mental phenomena faces several problems in regard to mental causation, i.e. mental events which cause other events, arising from her desire to accept the ontological primacy of the physical and at the same time save the special character of the mental. Psychology tries to persuade us of the former, appealing thereby to the results of experiments carried out in neurology; the latter is, however, deeply rooted in our everyday actions and beliefs and despite the constant opposition of science still very much alive. Difficulties, however, arise from a combination of two claims that are widely accepted in philosophy of mind, namely, physical monism and mental realism, the acceptance of which leads us to the greatest problem of mental causation: the problem of causal exclusion. Since physical causes alone are always sufficient for physical effects mental properties are excluded from causal explanations of our behaviour, which makes them “epiphenomenal”. The article introduces Van Gulick’s solution to the exclusion problem which tries to prove that physical properties, in contrast to mental properties, do not have as much of a privileged status with respect to event causation as usually ascribed. Therefore, it makes no sense to say that physical properties are causally relevant whereas mental properties are not. This is followed by my objection to his argument for levelling mental and physical properties with respect to causation of events. I try to show that Van Gulick’s argument rests on a premise that no serious physicalist can accept
Campos, Manuel (1995). Kim on the exclusion problem. Philosophical Issues 6:167-70.   (Google | More links)
Gibb, Sophie C. (2009). Explanatory exclusion and causal exclusion. Erkenntnis 71 (2).   (Google)
Abstract: Given Kim’s principle of explanatory exclusion (EE), it follows that in addition to the problem of mental causation, dualism faces a problem of mental explanation. However, the plausibility of EE rests upon the acceptance of a further principle concerning the individuation of explanation (EI). The two methods of defending EI—either by combining an internal account of the individuation of explanation with a semantical account of properties or by accepting an external account of the individuation of explanation—are both metaphysically implausible. This is not, however, to reject the problem of mental explanation, for EE can be replaced with a far weaker principle, which does not require the acceptance of EI, but which generates a similar problem for dualism
Haug, Matthew C. (2010). The exclusion problem meets the problem of many causes. Erkenntnis 73 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper I develop a novel response to the exclusion problem. I argue that the nature of the events in the causally complete physical domain raises the “problem of many causes”: there will typically be countless simultaneous low-level physical events in that domain that are causally sufficient for any given high-level physical event (like a window breaking or an arm raising). This shows that even reductive physicalists must admit that the version of the exclusion principle used to pose the exclusion problem against non-reductive physicalism is too strong. The burden is on proponents of the exclusion problem to provide a reason to think that any qualifications placed on the exclusion principle will solve the problem of many causes while ruling out causation by irreducible mental events
Haug, Matthew C. (2009). Two Kinds of Completeness and the Uses (and Abuses) of Exclusion Principles. The Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):379-401.   (Google)
Abstract: I argue that the completeness of physics is composed of two distinct claims. The first is the commonly made claim that, roughly, every physical event is completely causally determined by physical events. The second has rarely, if ever, been explicitly stated in the literature and is the claim that microphysics provides a complete inventory of the fundamental categories that constitute both the causal features and intrinsic nature of all the events that causally affect the physical universe. After showing that these claims are distinct, I argue that they can be used to solve a difficulty with existing responses to the exclusion problem—namely, that these existing responses also undermine the powerful causal argument for physicalism. Recognizing that there are two kinds of completeness opens up room for the nonreductive physicalist to solve the exclusion problem while also endorsing a modified, cogent causal argument for a kind of physicalism compatible with her position.
Horgan, Terence E. (2001). Causal compatibilism and the exclusion problem. Theoria 16 (40):95-116.   (Cited by 22 | Google | More links)
Abstract: 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 <blockquote> [1] </blockquote> other papers of mine (some collaborative) that bear on this topic
Horgan, Terry (2007). Mental causation and the agent-exclusion problem. Erkenntnis 67 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The hypothesis of the mental state-causation of behavior (the MSC hypothesis) asserts that the behaviors we classify as actions are caused by certain mental states. A principal reason often given for trying to secure the truth of the MSC hypothesis is that doing so is allegedly required to vindicate our belief in our own agency. I argue that the project of vindicating agency needs to be seriously reconceived, as does the relation between this project and the MSC hypothesis. Vindication requires addressing what I call the agent-exclusion problem: the prima facie incompatibility between the intentional content of agentive experience and certain metaphysical hypotheses often espoused in philosophy
Kallestrup, Jesper (2006). The causal exclusion argument. Philosophical Studies 131 (2):459-85.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Jaegwon Kim’s causal exclusion argument says that if all physical effects have sufficient physical causes, and no physical effects are caused twice over by distinct physical and mental causes, there cannot be any irreducible mental causes. In addition, Kim has argued that the nonreductive physicalist must give up completeness, and embrace the possibility of downward causation. This paper argues first that this extra argument relies on a principle of property individuation, which the nonreductive physicalist need not accept, and second that once we get clear on overdetermination, there is a way to reject the exclusion principle upon which the causal exclusion argument depends, but third that this should not lead to the belief that mental causation is easily accounted for in terms of counterfactual dependencies
List, Christian & Menzies, Peter (2009). Nonreductive physicalism and the limits of the exclusion principle. Journal of Philosophy 106 (9).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: It is often argued that higher-level special-science properties cannot be causally efficacious since the lower-level physical properties on which they supervene are doing all the causal work. This claim is usually derived from an exclusion principle stating that if a higher-level property F supervenes on a physical property F* that is causally sufficient for a property G, then F cannot cause G. We employ an account of causation as difference-making to show that the truth or falsity of this principle is a contingent matter and derive necessary and sufficient conditions under which a version of it holds. We argue that one important instance of the principle, far from undermining non-reductive physicalism, actually supports the causal autonomy of certain higher-level properties
Menzies, Peter (2008). The exclusion problem, the determination relation, and contrastive causation. In Jakob Hohwy & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
O'Connor, Timothy & Theiner, Georg (2002). Review of Paul Pietroski, Causing Actions. The Philosophical Review 111:291-294.   (Google)
Raatikainen, Panu, Causation, exclusion, and the special sciences.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The issue of downward causation (and mental causation in particular), and the exclusion problem is discussed by taking into account some recent advances in the philosophy of science. The problem is viewed from the perspective of the new interventionist theory of causation developed by Woodward. It is argued that from this viewpoint, a higher-level (e.g., mental) state can sometimes truly be causally relevant, and moreover, that the underlying physical state which realizes it may fail to be such
Robb, David & Heil, John (online). Mental Causation. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.   (Google)
Abstract: Worries about mental causation are prominent in contemporary discussions of the mind and human agency. Originally, the problem of mental causation was that of understanding how a mental substance (thought to be immaterial) could interact with a material substance, a body. Most philosophers nowadays repudiate immaterial minds, but the problem of mental causation has not gone away. Instead, focus has shifted to mental properties. How could mental properties be causally relevant to bodily behavior? How could something mental qua mental cause what it does? After looking at the traditional Problem of Interaction, we survey various versions of the property-based problem and look at proposed solutions to them.
Robb, David (1997). The properties of mental causation. Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):178-94.   (Cited by 28 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Recent discussions of mental causation have focused on three principles: (1) Mental properties are (sometimes) causally relevant to physical effects; (2) mental properties are not physical properties; (3) every physical event has in its causal history only physical events and physical properties. Since these principles seem to be inconsistent, solutions have focused on rejecting one or more of them. But I argue that, in spite of appearances, (1)–(3) are not inconsistent. The reason is that 'properties' is used in different senses in the principles. In (1) and (3), 'properties' should be read as 'tropes' (properties here are particulars), while in (2) 'properties' should read as 'types' (properties here are universals or classes). Although mental types are distinct from physical types, every mental trope is a physical trope. This allows mental properties to be causally relevant to physical effects without violating the closed character of the physical world.
Segal, Gabriel M. A. (2009). The causal inefficacy of content. Mind and Language 24 (1):80-102.   (Google)
Abstract: Abstract: The paper begins with the assumption that psychological event tokens are identical to or constituted from physical events. It then articulates a familiar apparent problem concerning the causal role of psychological properties. If they do not reduce to physical properties, then either they must be epiphenomenal or any effects they cause must also be caused by physical properties, and hence be overdetermined. It then argues that both epiphenomenalism and over-determinationism are prima facie perfectly reasonable and relatively unproblematic views. The paper proceeds to argue against Kim's ( Kim, 2000, 2005 ) attempt to articulate a plausible version of reductionism. It is then argued that psychological properties, along with paradigmatically causally efficacious macro-properties, such as toughness, are causally inefficacious in respect of their possessor's typical effects, because they are insufficiently distinct from those effects. It is finally suggested that the distinction between epiphenomenalism and overdeterminationism may be more terminological than real
Vicente, Agustin (1999). Vertical dependencies and the exclusion problem. In La Filosofia Analitica En El Cambio de Milenio. Santiago de Compostela.   (Google)
Weslake, Brad (ms). Exclusion Excluded.   (Google)
Abstract: I argue that an independently attractive account of causation and causal explanation provides a principled resolution of the exclusion problem.

4.7d Mental Causation, Misc

Bealer, George (2007). Mental causation. Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):23–54.   (Google | More links)
Crane, Tim, Mental causation.   (Google)
Abstract: Keywords: action, dualism, functionalism, materialism, physicalism Contents 1. What is mental causation? 2. History 3. Mental causation as a problem for dualism 4. Mental causation as a problem for physicalism 5. Mental causation and cognitive science..
Elder, Crawford (forthcoming). Mental Causation, Invariance, and Teleofunctional Content. The Monist.   (Google)
Fodor, J. (1989). Making mind matter more. Philosophical Topics 17:59-79.   (Google)
Kistler, Max (2005). Lowe's argument for dualism from mental causation. Philosophia 33 (1-4):319-329.   (Google | More links)
Raatikainen, Panu, Causation, exclusion, and the special sciences.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The issue of downward causation (and mental causation in particular), and the exclusion problem is discussed by taking into account some recent advances in the philosophy of science. The problem is viewed from the perspective of the new interventionist theory of causation developed by Woodward. It is argued that from this viewpoint, a higher-level (e.g., mental) state can sometimes truly be causally relevant, and moreover, that the underlying physical state which realizes it may fail to be such
Schlosser, Markus E. (2006). Causal exclusion and overdetermination. In E. Di Nucci & J. McHugh (eds.), Content, Consciousness and Perception. Cambridge Scholars Press.   (Google)
Abstract: This paper is about the causal exclusion argument against non-reductive physicalism. Many philosophers think that this argument poses a serious problem for non-reductive theories of the mind — some think that it is decisive against them. In the first part I will outline non-reductive physicalism and the exclusion argument. Then I will distinguish between three versions of the argument that address three different versions of non-reductive physicalism. According to the first, the relation between mental and physical events is token-identity. According to the second, mental events are distinct from physical events, but the latter metaphysically include and determine the former. And on the third version, mental and physical events are entirely distinct. I will argue that the causal exclusion argument is not decisive against non-reductive physicalism in any of the three versions. According to non-reductive physicalism, mental events are dependent on physical events. Causal exclusion and overdetermination, however, requires distinct and independent causes. I will argue that the burden of proof lies with the opponents of non-reductive physicalism, who have to explain how metaphysically dependent events can possibly overdetermine an effect or exclude each other from being causally efficacious.
Schlosser, Markus E. (2009). Non-reductive physicalism, mental causation and the nature of actions. In H. Leitgeb & A. Hieke (eds.), Reduction: Between the Mind and the Brain. Ontos.   (Google)
Abstract: Given some reasonable assumptions concerning the nature of mental causation, non-reductive physicalism faces the following dilemma. If mental events cause physical events, they merely overdetermine their effects (given the causal closure of the physical). If mental events cause only other mental events, they do not make the kind of difference we want them to. This dilemma can be avoided if we drop the dichotomy between physical and mental events. Mental events make a real difference if they cause actions. But actions are neither mental nor physical events. They are realized by physical events, but they are not type-identical with them. This gives us non-reductive physicalism without downward causation. The tenability of this view has been questioned. Jaegwon Kim, in particular, has argued that non-reductive physicalism is committed to downward causation. Appealing to the nature of actions, I will argue that this commitment can be avoided
Steglich-Petersen, Asbjørn (2005). Williamson on Knowledge, Action, and Causation. Sats - Nordic Journal of Philosophy 6:15-28.   (Google)
Abstract: In his Knowledge and its Limits (2000) Timothy Williamson argues that knowledge can be causally efficacious and as such figure in psychological explanation. His argument for this claim figures as a response to a key objection to his overall thesis that knowing is a mental state. In this paper I argue that although Williamson succeeds in establishing that knowledge in some cases is essential to the power of certain causal explanations of actions, he fails to do this in a way that establishes knowledge itself as a causal factor. The argument thus fails to support his overall claim that knowledge should be conceived as a state of mind.
Wilson, Jessica M. (2009). Determination, realization and mental causation. Philosophical Studies 145 (1):149--169.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: How can mental properties bring about physical effects, as they seem to do, given that the physical realizers of the mental goings-on are already sufficient to cause these effects? This question gives rise to the problem of mental causation (MC) and its associated threats of causal overdetermination, mental causal exclusion, and mental causal irrelevance. Some (e.g., Cynthia and Graham Macdonald, and Stephen Yablo) have suggested that understanding mental-physical realization in terms of the determinable/determinate relation (henceforth, ‘determination’) provides the key to solving the problem of MC: if mental properties are determinables of their physical realizers, then (since determinables and determinates are distinct, yet don’t causally compete) all three threats may be avoided. Not everyone agrees that determination can do this good work, however. Some (e.g., Douglas Ehring, Eric Funkhauser, and Sven Walter) object that mental-physical realization can’t be determination, since such realization lacks one or other characteristic feature of determination. I argue that on a proper understanding of the features of determination key to solving the problem of MC these arguments can be resisted