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Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia

Volume 16, Issue 1, Enero 2001

Stephen Yablo
Pages 65-75

Superproportionality and Mind-Body Relations

Mental causes are threatened from two directions: from below, since they would appear to be screened off by lower-order, e.g., neural states; and from within, since they would also appear to be screened off by intrinsic, e.g., syntactical states. A principle needed to parry the first threat -causes should be proportional to their effects- appears to leave us open to the second; for why should unneeded extrinsic detail be any less offensive to proportionality than excess microstructure? I say that the second threat relies on a perversion of proportionality that would lay waste to all causal relations.