Chapter

Physical Causal Closure and the Invisibility of 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/9780199217144.003.0004
 Physical Causal Closure and the Invisibility of Mental Causation

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This chapter develops more detailed models of mental causation of the kinds adumbrated, and explains why, if such models are correct, it should nonetheless appear to be the case, from the perspective of physical scientists, that all of the causation involved in human behaviour is purely physical in character. In other words, it is explained why mental causation, thus conceived, should be invisible from such a perspective — the implication being, of course, that its invisibility should not be regarded as compelling evidence of its non-existence. In this manner, it is hoped to take some of the wind out the sails of those physicalists who presume uncritically that ‘science is on their side’.

Keywords: invisibility; physicalism; physical science; human behaviour

Chapter.  9035 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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