by Micah Sparacio
Abstract—In this paper I argue for a non-reductive theory of mental causation that denies the primary tenet of contemporary theories of mind: the causal closure of the first-order physical world. I begin by briefly considering non-reductive theories of mental causation, coming to the conclusion that they all succumb to the causal exclusion problem elucidated by Jaegwon Kim. I contend that the exclusion problem highlights a fundamental error in contemporary philosophy of mind and provides us with a choice between two general and mutually exclusive options. After providing this critique, I conclude by arguing for an expanded conception of the physical, one that acknowledges the real ontological status of higher-level emergent properties and their unique causal powers.
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