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The Causal Exclusion Puzzle

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The article is divided into two parts. The first part offers a careful reconstruction and detailed discussion of the argument of causal exclusion, as well as of the implications it has for physicalism. In its second part the article examines two important objections to the causal exclusion argument: the generalization objection, which holds that the argument is unacceptable since it confers causal efficacy only to ultimate basic properties, which arguably might not exist; and Yablo’s objection, according to which underlying the argument of causal exclusion there is a principle of causal parsimony which leads to strong counterintuitive results and should therefore be abandoned. The article offers grounds for rejecting both objections as well as a new diagnosis of the problem for mental causation generated by the causal exclusion argument.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Departament de Filologia i Filosofia, Universitat de Girona, Spain

Publication date: April 1, 2002


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