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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front Phil Chin    2011, Vol. 6 Issue (3) : 402-425
Intralevel Mental Causation
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Marist College, New York 12601, USA
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This paper identifies and critiques a theory of mental causation defended by some proponents of nonredutive physicalism that I call “intralevelism.” Intralevelist theories differ in their details. On all versions, the causal outcome of the manifestation of physical properties is physical and the causal outcome of the manifestation of mental properties is mental. Thus, mental causation on this view is intralevel mental to mental causation. This characterization of mental causation as intralevel is taken to insulate nonreductive physicalism from some objections to nonreductive physicalism, including versions of the exclusion argument. This paper examines some features of three recent versions of intralevelism defended by John Gibbons, Markus Schlosser, and Amie Thomasson. This paper shows that the distinctive problems faced by these three representative versions of intralevelism suggest that the intralevelist strategy does not provide a viable solution to the exclusion problem.

Keywords mind      mental causation      nonreductive physicalism      metaphysics      action     
Corresponding Author(s): Andrei A. BUCKAREFF,   
Issue Date: 05 September 2011
 Cite this article:   
Andrei A. BUCKAREFF. Intralevel Mental Causation[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2011, 6(3): 402-425.
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