•  25
    Libertarian free will is, roughly, the view that agents cause actions to occur or not occur: Maddy’s decision to get a beer causes her to get up off her comfortable couch to get a beer, though she almost chose not to get up. Libertarian free will notoriously faces the luck objection, according to which agential states do not determine whether an action occurs or not, so it is beyond the control of the agent, hence lucky, whether an action occurs or not: Maddy’s reasons for getting beer in equipo…Read more
  •  31
    Causal Exclusion and Physical Causal Completeness
    Dialectica 73 (4): 479-505. 2019.
    Nonreductive physicalists endorse the principle of mental causation, according to which some events have mental causes: Sid climbs the hill because he wants to. Nonreductive physicalists also endorse the principle of physical causal completeness, according to which physical events have sufficient physical causes: Sid climbs the hill because a complex neural process in his brain triggered his climbing. Critics typically level the causal exclusion problem against this nonreductive physicalist mode…Read more
  •  103
    Mental Causation, Autonomy and Action Theory
    Erkenntnis 1-21. forthcoming.
    Nonreductive physicalism states that actions have sufficient physical causes and distinct mental causes. Nonreductive physicalism has recently faced the exclusion problem, according to which the single sufficient physical cause excludes the mental causes from causal efficacy. Autonomists respond by stating that while mental-to-physical causation fails, mental-to-mental causation persists. Several recent philosophers establish this autonomy result via similar models of causation :1031–1049, 2016;…Read more
  •  23
    Mind and the Causal Exclusion Problem
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2018.
    Mind and the Causal Exclusion Problem The causal exclusion problem is an objection to nonreductive physicalist models of mental causation. Mental causation occurs when behavioural effects have mental causes: Jennie eats a peach because she wants one; Marvin goes to Harvard because he chose to, etc. Nonreductive physicalists typically supplement adherence to mental causation with … Continue reading Mind and the Causal Exclusion Problem →
  •  48
    Autonomous Mental Causation and Mental‐Qua‐Mental Causation
    Philosophical Forum 50 (2): 245-267. 2019.
    Nonreductive physicalists endorse autonomous mental causation, the view that mental causes, as distinct from physical causes, bring about mental and physical effects. The causal exclusion problem has recently pressured nonreductive physicalists to replace autonomous mental causation with reduced mental causation, the view that mental causes, as physical causes, bring about mental and physical effects. Reduced mental causation, in turn, faces the problem of mental quausation, according to which r…Read more
  •  38
    Subject-centred reasons and bestowal love
    Philosophical Explorations 22 (1): 62-77. 2019.
    Speaking roughly, there are two competing accounts of the basis of love. First, the appraisal view: love is based in reasons derived from the valuable properties of the beloved. Second, the bestowal view: love is not based in reasons derived from the valuable properties of the beloved, but love is based in the lover, who then bestows value onto the beloved. While both models deserve due attention, the bestowal model is of present concern. Despite numerous virtues, the bestowal model faces trench…Read more
  •  4
    Ancient Epistemology (review)
    Dialogue 48 (3): 689-691. 2009.
  •  19
  •  56
    The Causal Exclusion Problem (edited book)
    Peter Lang. 2014.
    In The Causal Exclusion Problem, the popular strategy of abandoning any one of the principles constituting the causal exclusion problem is considered, but ultimately rejected. The metaphysical foundations undergirding the causal exclusion problem are then explored, revealing that the causal exclusion problem cannot be dislodged by undermining its metaphysical foundations – as some are in the habit of doing. Finally, the significant difficulties associated with the bevy of contemporary nonreducti…Read more
  •  84
    On the Metaphysics of Mental Causation
    Abstracta 8 (2): 3-16. 2015.
    In a series of recent papers, Cynthia MacDonald and Graham MacDonald offer a resolution to the twin problems of mental causation and mental causal relevance. They argue that the problem of mental causation is soluble via token monism – mental events are causally efficacious physical events. At the same time, the problem of mental causal relevance is solved by combining this causally efficacious mental property instance with the systematic co-variation between distinct mental properties of the ca…Read more
  •  111
    On Kim’s exclusion principle
    Synthese 169 (1): 75-90. 2009.
    In this paper we explore Jaegwon Kim's principle of explanatory exclusion. Kim's support for the principle is clarified and we critically evaluate several versions of the dual explananda response authors have offered to undermine it. We argue that none of the standard versions of the dual explananda reply are entirely successful and propose an alternative approach that reveals a deep tension in Kim's metaphysics. We argue that Kim can only retain the principle of explanatory exclusion if he aban…Read more
  •  62
    Qualia epiphenomenalism is the view that qualitative properties of events, such as the raw feel of tastes or painfulness, lack causal efficacy. One common objection to qualia epiphenomenalism is the epistemic argument, which states that this loss of causal efficacy undermines our capacity to know about these epiphenomenal qualitative properties. A number of rejoinders have been offered up to insulate qualia epiphenomenalism from the epistemic argument. In this paper I consider and ultimately rej…Read more
  •  46
    Explanatory exclusion and extensional individuation
    Acta Analytica 24 (3): 211-222. 2009.
    Jaegwon Kim’s principle of Explanatory Exclusion says there can be no more than a single complete and independent explanation of any one event. Accordingly, if we have a complete neurological explanation for some piece of human behavior, the mental explanation must either be excluded, or it must not be distinct from the neurological explanation. Jaegwon Kim argues that mental explanations are not distinct from neurological explanations on account of the fact that they refer to the same objective…Read more
  •  50
    The Epistemic Argument for Mental Causation
    Philosophical Forum 45 (2): 149-168. 2014.
  •  84
    Mental causation, compatibilism and counterfactuals
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1): 20-42. 2017.
    According to proponents of the causal exclusion problem, there cannot be a sufficient physical cause and a distinct mental cause of the same piece of behaviour. Increasingly, the causal exclusion problem is circumvented via this compatibilist reasoning: a sufficient physical cause of the behavioural effect necessitates the mental cause of the behavioural effect, so the effect has a sufficient physical cause and a mental cause as well. In this paper, I argue that this compatibilist reply fails to…Read more
  •  27
    A Non-reductive Model of Component Forces and Resultant Force
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4): 359-380. 2012.
    While there are reasons to believe that both component forces and a resultant force operate on a body in combined circumstances, the threat of overdetermination largely prevents adoption of this view. Accordingly, a lively debate has arisen over which force actually exists and which force is eliminated in combined circumstances, the components or the resultant. In this article I present a non-reductive model of resultant force which ensures the existence of both the resultant force and the compo…Read more
  •  88
    Role Functionalism and Epiphenomenalism
    Philosophia 39 (3): 511-525. 2011.
    The type-type reductive identity of the mental to the physical was once the dominant position in the mental causation debate. In time this consensus was overturned, largely due to its inability to handle the problem of multiple realizability. In its place a nonreductive position emerged which often included an adherence to functionalism. Functionalism construes mental properties as functional states of an organism, which in turn have specific physical realizers. This nonreductive form of functio…Read more
  •  30
    Explanatory exclusion and mental explanation
    Philosophical Psychology 29 (3): 390-404. 2016.
    Jaegwon Kim once refrained from excluding distinct mental causes of effects that depend upon the sufficient physical cause of the effect. At that time, Kim also refrained from excluding distinct mental explanations of effects that depend upon complete physical explanations of the effect. More recently, he has excluded distinct mental causes of effects that depend upon the sufficient cause of the effect, since the physical cause is individually sufficient for the effect. But there has been, to th…Read more
  •  49
    The Generalization Problem and the Identity Solution
    Erkenntnis 72 (1): 57-72. 2010.
    For some time now, Jaegwon Kim has argued that irreducible mental properties face the threat of causal inefficacy. The primary weapon he deploys to sustain this charge is the supervenience/exclusion argument. This argument, in a nutshell, states that any mental property that irreducibly supervenes on a physical property is excluded from causal efficacy because the underlying physical property takes care of all of the causal work itself. Originally intended for mental properties alone, it did not…Read more
  •  90
    On Robinson’s Response to the Self-Stultifying Objection
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (4): 627-641. 2012.
    Qualia Epiphenomenalism is the view that qualitative events lack causal efficacy. A common objection to qualia epiphenomenalism is the so-called Self-Stultifying Objection, which suggests that justified, true belief about qualitative events requires, among other things, the belief to be caused by the qualitative event—the very premise that qualia epiphenomenalism denies. William Robinson provides the most sustained response to the self-stultification objection that is available. In this paper I …Read more
  •  76
    In recent papers, Lei Zhong argues that the autonomy solution to the causal exclusion problem is unavailable to anyone that endorses the counterfactual model of causation. The linchpin of his argument is that the counterfactual theory entails the downward causation principle, which conflicts with the autonomy solution. In this note I argue that the counterfactual theory does not entail the downward causation principle, so it is possible to advocate for the autonomy solution to the causal exclusi…Read more
  •  133
    Functional Reduction and Mental Causation
    Acta Analytica 25 (4): 435-446. 2010.
    Over the past few decades, Jaegwon Kim has argued that non-reductive physicalism is an inherently unstable position. In his view, the most serious problem is that non-reductive physicalism leads to type epiphenomenalism—the causal inefficacy of mental properties. Kim suggests that we can salvage mental causation by endorsing functional reduction. Given the fact that Kim’s goal in formulating functional reduction is to provide a robust account of mental causation it would be surprising if his…Read more
  •  72
    For the nonreductive physicalist, behavioural effects have a complete physiological explanation and a distinct psychological explanation. In a series of papers Jaegwon Kim argues that there can be no more than a single complete and independent explanation of any one event, thereby excluding the psychological explanation. For his own part, Kim includes psychological explanations through the use of an extensional model of explanatory individuation. Numerous critics have pointed out the counterintu…Read more
  •  175
    Causal Exclusion and Dependent Overdetermination
    Erkenntnis 76 (3): 319-335. 2012.
    Jaegwon Kim argues that unreduced mental causes are excluded from efficacy because physical causes are sufficient in themselves. One response to this causal exclusion argument is to embrace some form of overdetermination. In this paper I consider two forms of overdetermination. Independent overdetermination suggests that two individually sufficient causes bring about one effect. This model fails because the sufficiency of one cause renders the other cause unnecessary. Dependent overdetermination…Read more
  •  81
    Supervenient Emergentism and Mereological Emergentism
    Axiomathes 25 (4): 457-477. 2015.
    In recent years, emergentism has resurfaced as a possible method by which to secure autonomous mental causation from within a physicalistic framework. Critics argue, however, that emergentism fails, since emergentism entails that effects have sufficient physical causes, so they cannot also have distinct mental causes. In this paper I argue that this objection may be effective against supervenient emergentism, but it is not established that it is effective against mereological emergentism. In fac…Read more