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New Perspectives for a Dualistic Conception of Mental Causation

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The paper provides new perspectives for a dualistic conception of mental causation by putting causation that originates in a nonphysical self into an evolutionary perspective. Nonphysical causation of this type - free agency -, together with nonphysical consciousness, is regarded as being not only compatible with physics, but also as having a natural place in nature. It is described how free agency can work, on the basis of the brain, and how it can be compatible with the result of the Libet-experiment. The necessary condition for the existence of free agency is that the physical macro-world is indeterministic to a degree that is relevant for living beings, that is, for their survival and well-being. From an evolutionary point of view, and on the basis of the facts of consciousness, it is more likely than not that this condition is in fact fulfilled.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Philosophy, University of Regensburg, D-93040 Regensburg, Germany., Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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