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Causing Actions - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Causing Actions

Paul M. Pietroski


When a person acts for a reason, mental events have causal effects. This makes it tempting, given various metaphysical considerations, to identify each (human) mental event with some biochemical event. But this token identity thesis is not mandatory and it is implausible. We can instead adopt a non‐Cartesian form of dualism, according to which many mental events are causes distinct from any biochemical events, but persons are spatiotemporal things with physical and mental properties (that supervene on physical properties). Actions are themselves mental events (tryings) that typically cause bod ... More

Keywords: action, agency, causation, cause, ceteris paribus laws, dualism, mental causation, mental content, mental events, overdetermination, philosophy of action, philosophy of mind, Paul Pietroski, supervenience

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2002 Print ISBN-13: 9780199252763
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0199252769.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul M. Pietroski, author
University of Maryland
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