- If persons, cats and cellphones are not identical to the sums that constitute them, there seems to be a problem with symmetric causal overdetermination: anything the cat causes is also caused by her constitutive sums of microparticles, atoms, molecules, etc.
- But persons, cats and cellphones are not identical to the sums that constitute them.
- I argue that the problem of constitutive overdetermination is serious, in particular because of the problem of additivity: if there is constitutive overdetermination, there is a transfer of energy, momentum, or some other conserved quantity from each overdetermining cause to the effect, but each quantity alone is sufficient to bring about the effect.
- If these conserved quantities are additive, constitutive overdetermination violates the laws. I then argue that constitutive overdetermination is an artifact of a flawed interpretation of the layered model of the world and propose a new interpretation.
- The argument is developed in the context of a discussion of the relations between objects, but there are obvious connections to debates in philosophy of mind, especially debates concerning mental causation1.
See Link (Defunct).
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