Chapter

Causation and Mental Causation

Jaegwon Kim

in Essays in the Metaphysics of Mind

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585878
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595349 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585878.003.0013
Causation and Mental Causation

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“Causation and Mental Causation” examines the interplay between the problem of mental causation and the various concepts of causation. Descartes' problem of explaining how immaterial souls could cause material bodies to move arose in the context of conceiving causation as involving impact of bodies in space. Davidson's difficulties with mental causation had their origin in his requirement that causal relations must instantiate “strict” laws. Then there are those who appeal to ceteris paribus laws, or a counterfactual dependency notion of causation, to save mental causation. However, there is a substantial doubt as to whether either strategy is successful. Finally, there is a conception of causation as production or generation, and the significance of this approach for the mental causation debate is discussed.

Keywords: correlation vs. causation; nomological causation; causation as dependence; productive causation; ceteris paribus law; strict law; realizer

Chapter.  7994 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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