Chapter

The Exclusion Problem, the Determination Relation, and Contrastive Causation*

Peter Menzies

in Being Reduced

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199211531
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191705977 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211531.003.0012
 						The Exclusion Problem, the Determination Relation, and Contrastive Causation*

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This chapter critically examines the causal exclusion argument against non-reductive physicalism. It argues that a contrastive account of causation falsifies the exclusion principle when it is formulated in terms of causal sufficiency, but not when it is formulated in terms of difference-making causation. Nonetheless, the causal exclusion argument poses no threat to non-reductive physicalism. For a non-reductive physicalist is still able to reject its conclusion by challenging the principle of the causal closure of the physical. The principle's formulation in terms of difference-making causation makes a much stronger and less plausible claim than its formulation in terms of sufficient causation. For example, when a mental property is the difference-maker of a behavioural property, there may be a physical property that is causally sufficient for the behavioural property, but it need not be a difference-making cause of that property.

Keywords: causal exclusion; non-reductive physicalism; contrastive causation; causal sufficiency; difference-making; causal closure

Chapter.  10508 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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