Davidson on Causal Relevance

Author: Garrett, B.J.

Source: Ratio, Volume 12, Number 1, March 1999 , pp. 14-33(20)

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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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: March 1, 1999

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