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Making a DifferenceEssays on the Philosophy of Causation$
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Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock, and Huw Price

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746911.001.0001

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Intervening in the Exclusion Argument

Intervening in the Exclusion Argument

(p.251) 13 Intervening in the Exclusion Argument
Making a Difference

James Woodward

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Peter Menzies’ work on mental causation and the causal exclusion argument. It endorses Menzies’ claim that an interventionist account of causation can cast new light on this complex of issues, but diverges from Menzies’ position at several points, in particular in connection with the role of proportionality considerations in the characterization of causation. This chapter attempts to clarify Woodward’s views about mental causation and the exclusion argument, to respond to some recent criticisms of those views, and to contrast Woodward’s views with the somewhat different approach favored by Menzies. The differences between Woodward’s and Menzies’ views are traced in part to different assumptions about the semantics of counterfactuals.

Keywords:   causation, causal exclusion argument, interventionism, causal proportionality, supervenience

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