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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2018, Vol. 13 Issue (3) : 402-419
Orginal Article |
Causal Exclusion and Causal Autonomism
CAI Weixin()
Department of Philosophy, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, V5A 1S6, Canada
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The causal exclusion problem is often considered as one of the major difficulties for which non-reductive physicalists have no easy solution to offer. Some non-reductive physicalists address this problem by arguing that mental properties are to some extent causally autonomous. If this is the case, then mental properties will not be causally excluded by their physical realizers because causation, in general, is a relation between properties of the same level. In this paper, I argue that the response from causal autonomy cannot be successful for two reasons. First, it does not offer a satisfactory explanation for how mental particulars can have causal efficacy in a non-reductive physicalist framework. Second, the causal considerations underpinning this response do not really support the conclusion that mental properties are causally autonomous.

Keywords non-reductive physicalism      causal exclusion      causal autonomism      interventionism      mental particulars      token causatio      propostionality requirement     
Issue Date: 25 September 2018
 Cite this article:   
CAI Weixin. Causal Exclusion and Causal Autonomism[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2018, 13(3): 402-419.
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