Does Argument from Causal Trajectories undermine the local supervenience of mental on physical?

15 June, 2018

Volkov D.
First pub. in: Эпистемология и философия науки. 2015. Т. 44 (2), 166-182 с.

Exclusion argument by J. Kim undermines the possibility of mental causation. But belief in mental causation is one of the foundations of the interpersonal relations. This contradiction is at the core of the problem of mental causation. The author of the paper analyzes Kim’s exclusion argument and makes the following conclusions. First, the same argument can target not only the mental causation but also causal efficacy of high-order properties, including those specified by the special sciences. This alone can be considered reduction ad absurdum of Kim’s argument. Second, it is possible to propose counterexamples to the argument – situations in which high-order properties obviously play a causal role. One of those counterexamples is presented by the author of this paper – a thought experiment “The library of ancient tractates”. Both of these considerations support the claim that Kim’s argument is false and it is not threating the mental causation.

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