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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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Mental Causation*

Mental Causation*

Chapter:
1 Mental Causation*
Source:
Mental Causation and Ontology
Author(s):

John Heil

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603770.003.0002

The mental causation debate has proved unfruitful because philosophers involved set out from incommensurable starting points. Some begin with the thought that we must look to scientific practice to locate causal kinds. Psychology is a successful science, so psychological properties must be causally efficacious. Metaphysicians who say otherwise have a cockeyed conception of causation. Others find such arguments beside the point. Scientific practice suggests that mental properties are causally relevant to physical goings-on, but the question is not whether this is so, but how this could possibly be so. Perhaps the impasse stems from assumptions both sides share but rarely acknowledge.

Keywords:   causation, mental causation, event, reduction, properties, non-reductive physicalism, davidson, token identity, type identity, power

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