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Davidson on Causal Relevance

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Abstract:

Davidson argues that mental properties are causally relevant properties. I argue that Davidson cannot appeal to ceteris paribus causal laws to ensure that these properties are causally relevant, if he wishes to retain his argument for anomalous monism. Second, I argue that the appeal to supervenience cannot, by itself, give us an account of the causal relevancy of mental properties. I argue that, while mental properties may indeed ‘make a difference’ to the causally efficacious properties of events, this is not sufficient to show that mental properties are causally relevant.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, McGill University, 855 Sherbrooke St. West., Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2T7 bgarrett@yorku.ca

Publication date: 1999-03-01

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