Chapter

Self, Agency, and Mental Causation

E. J. Lowe

in Personal Agency

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199217144
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191712418 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217144.003.0002
 Self, Agency, and Mental Causation

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This chapter shows how, consistently with accepting a fairly strong principle of physical causal closure, a dualistic theory of mental causation can be made plausible by emphasizing the explanatory role that can be accorded to mental states in accounting for what would, in their absence, appear to be mysterious coincidences in the ways in which apparently unconnected physiological events give rise to coordinated bodily movements. It is argued that it is crucial to their occupying this kind of explanatory role that mental states are intentional states and that mental causation is distinctively intentional causation — the bringing about of intended effects.

Keywords: causal closure; coincidences; dualism; intentional states; mental causation; physicalism

Chapter.  9207 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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