Mental Causation

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Mental Causation by Mind Map: Mental Causation

1. Physicalism

1.1. Everything that exists is physical or depends upon something that is physical. This is a tight determination (physical determines mental) and cannot be separated. 'Physical' comes under laws of physics. Every property (belief.desire) is either physical or metaphysically necessitated by physical properties. Universality: Physical laws govern objects/events in space/time Completeness: Every physical event has a physical cause. Correlation is much weaker than determination Logical, Metaphysical, Physical Possibility (Rep by diamond shape)

2. Non-reductive physicalism

2.1. Non-reductive: Mental properties are not identical to any physical property (E.g. mental properties are multiple-realisable.

2.2. Supervenient dependence: No change in mental state can occur without change in physical state of brain (higher dependant on lower, but not reducible to them) So.. without physical instantiations, mental properties cannot occur. M1 depends on P1. Question: Can non reductive physicalism allow for mental causation?

3. The problem of mental causation

3.1. Mental states are causes. A mental state involves the exemplification of a mental property (experiencing stabbing pain)

3.2. So according to physicalism, every physical event has a physical cause (brings it about in accordance with laws of physics). HOW CAN MENTAL STATES (E.g. what I want - I want chocolate) CAUSE ANYTHING TO HAPPEN? (e.g moving my body- go to the shop)

3.3. Type Identity: No problem of mental causation Logical behaviourism: Mental talk is not causal talk (e.g. reasons are not causes) Physicalism is false: Rejects completeness of physics. (Physics doesn't capture cause)

4. Kim's exclusion argument

4.1. Causal overdetermination: Both the mental property and some physical property were causally relevant. Kim's exclusion principle: No single event can have more that one cause at given time (unless causal overdetermination, which is OK in rare cases, but not as general rule) The effect cannot be caused by both the mental and physical properties. Completeness: Physical properties of the cause are sufficient to bring about effect - no 'work' for mental properties to do. Therefore non-reductive physicalism entails epiphenomenalism (Causation happening at the the level of the physical realiser - all the difference is made here). Response: There is no problem of overdetermination because the mental property is not independent of the physical property, but supervenes on it. Objection: This actually makes things worse - Mental properties play no role in causation.

5. Restating the problem for non-reductive physicalism

5.1. NRP Committed to: Distinctness, Dependence, Completeness of physics, Generality of physics. So, there can be no downward causation from mental to physical

6. Beyond supervenience

6.1. Supervenience definition:One thing depends on another thing, but there is no interdependancy (Dependancy going one way)

6.2. Mental causation is not the same as physical causation, so doesn't compete.

6.3. Horgan: Constitution Jackson and Pettit: Program explanation The idea of program explanation is one of dependence, which we capture by counterfactuals - E depends on C: If C had not occurred then neither would E.

7. On Causal Powers

7.1. Neither regularity nor dependance is causation, which must involve production If dependance or regularity were causation, then there is no difference between mental causation and supervenience plus epiphenomenalism

7.2. Physical properties are involved in causation as production (neural events make bodily movements happen)

7.3. The problem is not mental nature of properties, but higher order nature.

7.4. Emergentism: The emergence of consciousness and rational thought has made a fundamental difference to the world at the physical level. Lowe, Steward have alternative theories of causation and causal explanation.