Document Type

Article

Abstract

Physicalism, as in this paper, holds that every instance of causation reported by the special sciences is shadowed, even rivaled, by causation at the level of microphysics. The reported "cause" is embodied in one massive collection of microparticle events; the "effect" in another; the former brings about the latter by laws of physics. This paper argues that while individual events in the "cause" collection bring about individual events in the "effect" collection, it does not follow, and is unbelievable, that the "cause" collection itself brings anything about. Causings reported by the special sciences can be traced only at that level.

Comments

Published in Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 200, pp. 332-343 (July 2000). The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com.

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