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The Waning of Materialism$
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Robert C. Koons and George Bealer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199556182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199556182.001.0001

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Nonreductive Physicalism or Emergent Dualism? The Argument from Mental Causation

Nonreductive Physicalism or Emergent Dualism? The Argument from Mental Causation

(p.261) 13 Nonreductive Physicalism or Emergent Dualism? The Argument from Mental Causation
The Waning of Materialism

Timothy O'Connor (Contributor Webpage)

John Ross Churchill

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a version of the causal exclusion challenge to non-reductive physicalism, one that is explicitly directed at non-reductive physicalists who adopt an ontology of causal powers. After reviewing some considerations in favor of a causal powers metaphysic, it presents its exclusion argument and defends it against recent attempts by Shoemaker and Gillett to overcome exclusion without sacrificing causal powers or non-reductive physicalism. The lesson is that if irreducible mental properties are to be efficacious in a way that is consonant with a causal powers metaphysic, these properties cannot be the realized entities postulated by the non-reductive physicalist. The chapter ends with a sketch of an alternative to non-reductive physicalism that preserves both the causal powers ontology and the irreducibility and efficacy of mental properties. On this alternative, mental properties are unrealized, ontologically emergent features of their subjects.

Keywords:   non-reductive physicalism, causal exclusion, causal powers, Shoemaker, Gillett, mental properties

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