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Do Tropes Resolve the Problem of Mental Causation?

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David Robb has argued (in ‘The Properties of Mental Causation’, The Philosophical Quarterly, 47 (1997), pp. 178–94), that tropes are the properties of causation, i.e., the properties in virtue of which causal relations hold. He thinks that the welcome upshot of this is that there is no problem of mental causation. I argue that his reasons for thinking that tropes are the properties of causation are unsound. In addition, even if one takes the trope approach as a reasonable reform of our current practice, the problem of mental causation still arises. It is just been hidden in the question of what makes tropes identical.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Nottingham

Publication date: April 1, 1998

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