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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2018, Vol. 13 Issue (3) : 349-360     https://doi.org/10.3868/s030-007-018-0027-8
Orginal Article |
Philosophy and Science Dialogue: Mental Causation
Thalia Wheatley1(), Terence Horgan2()
1. Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA
2. Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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Abstract

This paper is a dialogue between Thalia Wheatley and Terence Horgan. Horgan maintains that philosophy is a broadly empirical discipline, and that philosophical theorizing about how concepts work treats certain intuitions about proper concept-usage as empirical data. He holds that the possibility of strong multiple realizability undermines the psychophysical identity theory. He holds that the concept of causation is governed by implicit contextual parameters, and that this dissolves Kim’s problem of “causal exclusion.” He holds that the concept of free will is governed by implicit contextual parameters, and that free-will attributions are often true, in typical contexts, even if determinism is true. Thalia Wheatley holds that the concept of multiple realizability hinges on the level of abstraction discussed and that neuroscientific data does not yet support multiple realizability of mental states from specific, high resolution brain states. She also holds that compatibilism redefines the concept of free will in ways that bear little resemblance to the common understanding―that of being free to choose otherwise in the moment. She maintains that this folk understanding is incompatible with the brain as a physical system and is not rescued by concepts of context and capacity.

Keywords strong multiple realizability      psychophysical identity      causal exclusion      causal contextualism      neuroscience      free will      determinism     
Issue Date: 25 September 2018
 Cite this article:   
Thalia Wheatley,Terence Horgan. Philosophy and Science Dialogue: Mental Causation[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2018, 13(3): 349-360.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/10.3868/s030-007-018-0027-8
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/Y2018/V13/I3/349
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