Causal exclusion and the limits of proportionality

McDonnell, N. (2017) Causal exclusion and the limits of proportionality. Philosophical Studies, 174(6), pp. 1459-1474. (doi:10.1007/s11098-016-0767-3)

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Abstract

Causal exclusion arguments are taken to threaten the autonomy of the special sciences, and the causal efficacy of mental properties. A recent line of response to these arguments has appealed to “independently plausible” and “well grounded” theories of causation to rebut key premises. In this paper I consider two papers which proceed in this vein and show that they share a common feature: they both require causes to be proportional (in Yablo’s sense) to their effects. I argue that this feature is a bug, and one that generalises: any attempt to rescue the autonomy of the special sciences, or the efficacy of the mental, from exclusion worries had better not look to proportionality for help.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McDonnell, Dr Neil
Authors: McDonnell, N.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Philosophical Studies
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0031-8116
ISSN (Online):1573-0883
Published Online:31 August 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
First Published:First published in Philosophical Studies 174(6):1459–1474
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
661041EmergenceFiona MacphersonThe John Templeton Foundation (JTF)40485HU - PHILOSOPHY