Mental Causation and Free Will

Trenton Merricks

in Objects and Persons

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780199245369
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598036 | DOI:
 Mental Causation and Free Will

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I argue that the Exclusion Argument against mental causation (an argument primarily associated with Jaegwon Kim and which opposes systematic overdetermination) is self‐defeating and should be rejected by everyone. A new version of the Argument—the ‘Micro Exclusion Argument’—does not undermine itself, but, I argue, we should reject that argument in light of the rejection of microphysical closure defended earlier in the book. And, among other things, I present an argument against free will, an argument that presupposes incompatibilism. I then show that those who believe in non‐redundant mental causation of the sort I defend in Ch. 4 can resist that argument. And so, I suggest, incompatibilists who believe in free will should embrace my most controversial claims about mental causation.

Keywords: exclusion argument; free will; incompatibilism; Jaegwon Kim; mental causation; microphysical closure; overdetermination

Chapter.  8046 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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