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Durham University

Department of Philosophy

The New Ontology of the Mental Causation Debate

As part of an on-going, two year research project lead by Sophie Gibb and Jonathan Lowe, The New Ontology of the Mental Causation Debate, a three day conference (2009) was held to discuss key themes concerning the research.  It has been suggested that the mental causation debate is ‘up against a dead end' (Kim 1993), and even that a solution to the problem is forever beyond our reach (McGinn 1994). The purpose of this conference was to present and discuss the latest research output of scholars attempting to re-assess the problem of mental causation in light of recent advances in metaphysics. A particular focus is on new accounts of powers, properties and causation, and of categories and levels of being. 


Monday 14th September

Prof. John Heil, Causation and Mental Properties

Prof. David Robb, Tropes, Types, and Mental Causation

Tuesday 15th September

Prof. Tim Crane, Mental Substances and their Powers

Prof. Peter Simons, Causation by Continuants: Loyal Opposition

Prof. David Papineau, Variable Realization and Causal Laws

Prof. Sydney Shoemaker, Physical Realization without Preemption

Wednesday 16th September

Prof. Paul Noordhof, Mental Causation: Ontology and Patterns of Variation

Prof. Tim O'Connor, Nonreductive Physicalism or Emergent Dualism? The Argument from Mental Causation

Prof. Barry Loewer, Enough of Mental Causation? Already?