Physicalism and Mental Causation: The Metaphysics of Mind and Action

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Sven Walter, Heinz-Dieter Heckmann
Imprint Academic, 2003 - Philosophy - 362 pages
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This book presents a range of essays on the conceptual foundations of physicalism, mental causation and human agency. Physicalism--the thesis that everything there is in the world, including human
minds, is constituted by basic physical entities--has dominated the philosophy of
mind during the last few decades. Yet, there is no generally accepted definition for
most of the core notions of physicalism, including fundamental notions such as
'causation, ' 'determination, ' 'realization, ' or even 'physicalism' itself. This lack of
an unanimous conceptual foundation for the physicalist agenda impedes the
solution of more specific problems in the philosophy of mind, for instance problems
pertaining to mental causation and human agency.
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As of yet, a comprehensive philosophical reflection on various key concepts and
how they relate to the more specific problems physicalism attempts to solve is still
missing. This book presents a range of essays written by established and
leading authors in the field on the conceptual foundations of physicalism and
its interconnections with philosophical problems concerning mental causation
and human agency.

 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Multiply Realized Properties
11
Evaluating
59
Explicability
85
A Farewell to Isms
109
Introduction
133
Some Evidence for Physicalism
155
Varieties of Causal Closure
173
Kim on Closure Exclusion and Nonreductive Physicalism
225
Methodological and Ontological Aspects of the Mental
243
Introduction
269
The Problem of
295
The Phenomenology of FirstPerson Agency
323
Bibliography
342
Notes on Contributors
354
Copyright

Introduction
191

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About the author (2003)

Torin Alter is Associate Professor at the University of Alabama. Sven Walter is Assistant Professor at the University of Bielefeld, Germany.

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