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Mental Causation and Ontology$
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S. C. Gibb, E. J. Lowe, and R. D. Ingthorsson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199603770

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603770.001.0001

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Continuant Causation, Fundamentality, and Freedom

Continuant Causation, Fundamentality, and Freedom

Chapter:
(p.233) 10 Continuant Causation, Fundamentality, and Freedom
Source:
Mental Causation and Ontology
Author(s):

Peter Simons

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603770.003.0011

In continuant causation the initiator is not an event but a continuant. This paper argues that continuant causation cannot be a fundamental nexus in the world, for two reasons. Firstly, continuants are themselves not fundamental. Secondly, what makes it true that an instance of causation occurs at the time it does? In occurrent causation, temporal parts of the causes and effect themselves are candidate truthmakers. Continuants, however, have no temporal parts, so the only plausible candidates for truthmaker on the cause side are occurrents in which the continuant is involved. That leaves unappetizing choices for the defender of fundamental continuant causation. Either the causal instance is not in time, so the truthmaker question does not arise; or the relevant truth has no truthmaker; or continuant causation is derivative after all.

Keywords:   continuant, occurrent, truthmaking, nexus, causation, freedom

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