Dretske On How Reasons Explain Behavior
Kim (Jaegwon)
Source: Kim - Supervenience and Mind
Paper - Abstract

Paper Summary


Philosophers Index Abstract

    This paper analyzes Fred Dretske's recent account of how contentful mental states (e.g., beliefs and desires) can cause physical behavior. It begins with a general discussion of the problem of mental causation1 and then criticizes certain aspects of Dretske's account, recommending a set of revisions to improve the account. The revised account closely resembles the author's own account of mental causation2 as "supervenient causation3" and it is argued that this model can handle cases of mental causation4 not touched by Dretske's account (e.g., cases in which intentional states cause physical reactions "in virtue of their contents" but do not "rationalize" them).

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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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