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Minds, Causes and Mechanisms: A Case Against Physicalism

ISBN: 978-0-631-21802-9
288 pages
February 2000, Wiley-Blackwell
Minds, Causes and Mechanisms: A Case Against Physicalism (0631218025) cover image
Minds, Causes, and Mechanisms questions the internal consistency of causal physicalism, and vindicates a novel approach to mental causation.
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Acknowledgements.

Introduction.

1. Physicalism and the Mental: The Dominant View.

2. An Initial Tension: Narrowness and Multiple Realization.

3. Dispositions, Minimality, and Intrinsic Causal Powers.

4. 'Ceteris Paribus' Laws and the Autonomy of Nonbasic Properties.

5. Strict Laws, Causes, and Background Conditions.

6. Mental Causation.

Notes.

References.

Index.
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Josep E. Corbi was born in Monover, Spain in 1957. He has been a lecturer at the University of Valencia since 1980, and has published several papers on the philosophy of mind and epistemology.

Josep L. Prades was born in Valencia, Spain in 1954. He taught philosophy at the University of Murcia and is presently a lecturer at the University of Girona. He has published several studies of Wittgenstein's philosophy and papers on the philosophy of mind and epistemology.

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* Provides a lucid review of recent developments by philosophers such as Block, Davidson, Fodor, Kim, Lewis, Mellor, Putnam, Schiffer, Shoemaker, and Yablo
* Questions the internal consistency of causal physicalism, and vindicates a novel approach to mental causation
* Makes clear, through a series of original and detailed arguments, that many difficulties in the physicalist picture derive from an implausible view of causality
* Defends an alternative conception of causality that allows us to see how mental contents may be causally efficacious without having an implementing mechanism.
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'In their interesting and important book, Corbí and Prades successfully identify and question the metaphysical assumptions behind current orthodoxy about mental causation, making an original and important contribution to our understanding of this central topic.'

Christopher Hookway, University of Sheffield

'Minds, Causes, and Mechanisms is a timely and highly valuable contribution that will re-energize the ongoing debate and take it to another level. It offers refeshingly lucid and illuminating analysis and critique of the basic assumptions and arguments that have shaped the dominant physicalist outlook in this area, what Corbí and Prades call "causal physicalism". This book is an essential contribution. Highly recommended.'

Jaegwon Kim, Brown University

'A thorough and subtle critique of physicalism. After reading it, even committed physicalists may conclude that their doctrine is beyond resurrection.'

George Couvalis, Flinders University

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