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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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Physical Realization without Preemption

Physical Realization without Preemption

(p.35) 2 Physical Realization without Preemption
Mental Causation and Ontology

Sydney Shoemaker

Oxford University Press

The paper discusses how mental states can be physically realized without their causal efficacy being preempted by their physical realizers—either property realizers, which are physical property instances, or microphysical realizers, which are microphysical state of affairs. On the ‘subset account’ of property realization P is realized by Q when the forward-looking causal features of P are a subset of the forward-looking causal features of Q. An instance of a mental property is a part of the instance of the physical property that realizes it, and the latter causes what it does in virtue of having the mental property instance as a part. Corresponding to every type of microphysical states of affairs there is an MSE property that something has in virtue of embedding a state of affairs of that type, and these are property realizers of other properties.

Keywords:   property realization, microphysical realization, subset account, mse properties, thin properties vs. thick properties, strong embedding vs. weak embedding

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