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Personal AgencyThe Metaphysics of Mind and Action$
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E. J. Lowe

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199217144

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217144.001.0001

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Self, Agency, and Mental Causation

Self, Agency, and Mental Causation

Chapter:
(p.19) 1 Self, Agency, and Mental Causation
Source:
Personal Agency
Author(s):

E. J. Lowe (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217144.003.0002

This chapter shows how, consistently with accepting a fairly strong principle of physical causal closure, a dualistic theory of mental causation can be made plausible by emphasizing the explanatory role that can be accorded to mental states in accounting for what would, in their absence, appear to be mysterious coincidences in the ways in which apparently unconnected physiological events give rise to coordinated bodily movements. It is argued that it is crucial to their occupying this kind of explanatory role that mental states are intentional states and that mental causation is distinctively intentional causation — the bringing about of intended effects.

Keywords:   causal closure, coincidences, dualism, intentional states, mental causation, physicalism

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