Chapter

Causal and Explanatory Autonomy: Comments on Menzies and List

Ausonio Marras and Juhani Yli‐Vakkuri

in Emergence in Mind

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199583621
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723483 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583621.003.0009

Series: Mind Association Occasional Series

Causal and Explanatory Autonomy: Comments on Menzies and List

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The chapter argues that Menzies and List's defence of the claim that higher‐level properties have causal powers independent of those of their physical realizers conflates questions about the causal powers of properties with questions about their explanatory roles. Menzies and List's argument shows only that explanations in terms of higher‐level properties are sometimes more appropriate than explanations in terms of physical properties, but no conclusions about the causal powers of properties can be drawn from this without assuming a questionable version of the interventionist theory of causation.

Keywords: mental causation; emergence; intervention; causation

Chapter.  4613 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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