Three Varieties of Causal Overdetermination

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Causal overdetermination worries arise in a number of domains, but most notably in the philosophy of mind. In discussions of such worries, alleged examples of causal overdetermination are uniformly viewed as prima facie problematic. While all alleged cases of overdetermination might (or might not) be problematic, I aim to show that they are so for different reasons. Examples of causal overdetermination neatly divide into three varieties, corresponding to the connections between the mechanisms and the properties of the causes. Future debates over overdetermination, and mental causation in particular, should pay heed to this distinction.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Syracuse University

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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