Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Emergence in Mind$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Cynthia Macdonald and Graham Macdonald

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583621

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583621.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 April 2020

Emergence and Downward Causation

Emergence and Downward Causation

(p.139) 10 Emergence and Downward Causation
Emergence in Mind

Cynthia Macdonald (Contributor Webpage)

Graham Macdonald (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The principal charge against any emergentist account of the nature of mind is that it leads to incoherence because it is committed to ‘downward’ causation, and it is this charge that this chapter aims to defeat by appeal to a specific metaphysics of mental causation. Section 1 characterizes some important versions of the doctrine of emergentism. Section 2 develops the challenge anti‐emergentists set for advocates of strong emergence, that of demonstrating how emergent properties can be causally effective. Section 3 sets the authors proposal for dealing with the challenge. Section 4 outlines and develops a principled argument against the objection from ‘downward causation’, dismantling the objection by appealing to the already developed metaphysics. Section 5 defends the authors' position against objections from opponents and argues against the opposing strategy.

Keywords:   non‐reductive physicalism, property exemplification account, downward causation, higher‐level causation, causal relevance, psychological explanation, supervenience, realization

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .