Interventionism and Epiphenomenalsim

2010 Canadian Journal of Philosophy  
In a recent paper, Shapiro and Sober (2007) defend two claims with respect to the master argument for epiphenomenalism, which is designed to rebut non-reductive physicalism: (i) relative to an interventionist account of causation, as most elaborately presented in (Woodward 2003) , the master argument turns out to be invalid; and (ii) interventionism provides a means to experimentally uncover micro effects of macro causes. The first part of this paper takes issue with both of these claims by
more » ... these claims by showing that Woodward's interventionism and non-reductive physicalism are incompatible-contrary to Shapiro's and Sober's assessment. The second part then discusses two possible modifications of Woodward's theory, both of which ensure the compatibility of interventionism and non-reductive physicalism. Nonetheless, it shall turn out that neither of those modifications suits the purposes of non-reductive physicalists. * I thank Frederick Eberhardt, Jim Woodward, Delphine Chapuis-Schmitz, Derek Turner, and Mehmet Elgin for very helpful comments and discussions. Moreover, two anonymous referees of this journal have contributed valuable comments on an earlier draft. Finally, I am indebted to the Center for Philosophy of Science of the University of Pittsburgh and to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for generous support of this work (project CAUSAPROBA).
doi:10.1080/00455091.2010.10716727 fatcat:mpun6spocreaviwmmoc6fqi7he