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Mental Causation: The Exclusion Argument and Compatibilism
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on Karen Bennett’s compatibilist solution to the exclusion argument against mental causation for the non-reductive physicalist position. It is argued, particularly by Jaegwon Kim, that the non-reductive physicalist position cannot be compatible with mental causation, which are mental events that systematically cause physical events. Because the physical world is causally closed, such that all physical effects have prior physical causes, it appears as all physical effects of mental causes have two causes, one mental and one physical. The claim of non-overdetermination, stating that it cannot be the case that physical effects of mental causes are systematically overdetermined, such that the effect have two sufficient causes occurring simultaneously leads to issues with mental causation. From these claims, it appears as if the mental is casually excluded. Bennett solves the issue with a specific test, showing that physical effects of mental causes are not overdetermined. She denies the central (exclusion) claim behind the exclusion argument. Several philosophers have objected to this solution by criticizing one assumption Bennett makes in her strategy. For this thesis I wanted to investigate how Bennett’s strategy actually solves the problem, and if it is plausible. It is concluded that her strategy cannot be rejected, although one objection by Keaton and Polger is not accounted for in Bennett’s strategy. Further research is suggested is suggested on this issue.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 32
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-149821OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-149821DiVA, id: diva2:1228008
Subject / course
Philosophy
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-27 Created: 2018-06-27

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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