umu.sePublications
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Causal after all: a model of mental causation for dualists
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6423-1324
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this dissertation, I develop and defend a model of causation that allows for dualist mental causation in worlds where the physical domain is physically complete.

In Part I, I present the dualist ontology that will be assumed throughout the thesis and identify two challenges for models of mental causation within such an ontology: the exclusion worry and the common cause worry. I also argue that a proper response to these challenges requires a thoroughly lightweight account of causation, i.e. an account that allows for causes to be metaphysically distinct from the phenomena that produce or physically necessitate their effects.

In Part II, I critically evaluate contemporary responses to these challenges from the philosophical literature. In particular, I discuss (i) List and Stoljar’s criticism of exclusion worries, (ii) Kroedel’s alternative dualist ontology, (iii) concerns about the notion of causal sufficiency, and (iv) Lowe’s models of dualist mental causation. I argue that none of these proposals provide independent motivation for a thoroughly lightweight account of causation and therefore leave room for improvement.

In the first four chapters of Part III, I develop a thoroughly lightweight model of causation, which builds on interventionist approaches to causation. First, I explain how so-called ‘holding fixed’-requirements in standard interventionist accounts stand in the way of dualist mental causation. I then argue that interventionist accounts should impose a robustness condition on causal correlations and that, with this condition in place, the ‘holding fixed’-requirements can be weakened such that they do allow for dualist mental causation. I dub the interventionist model with such weakened ‘holding fixed’-requirements ‘insensitive interventionism’, argue that it can counter the exclusion worry as well as the common cause worry, and explain under which circumstances it would predict there to be dualist mental causation. Importantly, these circumstances might, for all we know, hold in the actual world.

In the final three chapters of Part III, I defend insensitive interventionism against some objections. I consider the objection that causation must be productive, the objection that causes must (in some sense) physically necessitate their effects, and the objection that insensitive interventionism is too permissive. I respond by drawing from the literature on causation by absences and on the relation between causation and fundamental physics. Overall, insensitive interventionism performs as well as standard interventionist accounts. I conclude that insensitive interventionism is a credible model of causation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2019. , p. 290
Series
Umeå studies in philosophy, ISSN 1650-1748 ; 13
Keywords [en]
Mental Causation, Dualism, Non-Reductionism, Causal Exclusion, Causation, Interventionism, Negative Causation, Omissions, Neo-Russellianism, Causation and Physics
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-162376ISBN: 978-91-7855-098-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-162376DiVA, id: diva2:1343629
Public defence
2019-09-11, Samhällsvetarhuset Hörsal D, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-08-21 Created: 2019-08-18 Last updated: 2019-08-20Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1580 kB)56 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1580 kBChecksum SHA-512
19b69c60c482ac7093519f08be4d61b40e02c5abb685d6640ef280831889aed49900cca84b90cde75bedfec123a386ee2e8c0ebb52a503c8a3c8a07eb94e1d9c
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
spikblad(118 kB)8 downloads
File information
File name SPIKBLAD01.pdfFile size 118 kBChecksum SHA-512
db64c8ae6309e1f0d4d2047fcb8166dcffcb8b90d322b93e88772a0a000640259efbd65fd16afc422266fc543d92098808f8b6133c66245b5814692c172550a5
Type spikbladMimetype application/pdf

Authority records BETA

Vaassen, Bram

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Vaassen, Bram
By organisation
Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies
Philosophy

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 56 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 246 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf