III Downward Causation, Mind and Agency

The Mental Causation Debate and Qua Problems

Sophie C. Gibb

It is often suggested by those in the mental causation debate that the causal closure argument is an argument that can be raised at increasingly more fine-grained levels. That is, even if one accepts the conclusion of the causal closure argument—mental causes are identical with physical causes—there are still worries about whether the mentalness of the mental cause, or the mentalness of the mentalness of the mental cause is causally redundant in the physical domain. And each such worry gives rise to a problem of causal closure. I refer to these problems as “qua problems”. And, in this paper, I aim to establish that all such qua problems can be dismissed or unproblematically avoided. The only problem that the causal closure argument gives rise to is the problem of how non-physical causes can have physical effects. If there is no downward causation, then there is no downward causal efficacy.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >