If causalism is a complete theory of what it is to behave intentionally, it also has to account for intentional omissions. Carolina Sartorio (2009) has developed a powerful argument, the Causal Exclusion for Omissions, showing that intentional omissions cannot be explained by causalism. A crucial claim in the argument is that there is a causal competition between a mental omission and the mental action performed instead. In this paper I reject the argument by demonstrating that there is no causal competition ever between an omission and the action performed instead. I propose what I call the Realisationist Conception of Omissions, which consists in considering omissions as multiply realisable absences whose realisers are specific positive actions. I further argue in favour of the Determinationist Conception of Omissions, according to which the relation between omissions and their realisers is a determinable/determinate relation. Since there can be no causal preemption between a determinable and its determinates, there can be no causal preemption between omissions and the actions performed instead, and causalism is safe. I also show that this view of omissions has some other independent advantages – like for example that of solving the problem of the spatio-temporal localisation of omissions.

Reconciling omissions and causalism / Bacchini, Fabio. - In: REVIEW OF PHILOSOPHY AND PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 1878-5158. - 9:3(2018), pp. 627-645. [10.1007/s13164-018-0402-7]

Reconciling omissions and causalism

bacchini
2018

Abstract

If causalism is a complete theory of what it is to behave intentionally, it also has to account for intentional omissions. Carolina Sartorio (2009) has developed a powerful argument, the Causal Exclusion for Omissions, showing that intentional omissions cannot be explained by causalism. A crucial claim in the argument is that there is a causal competition between a mental omission and the mental action performed instead. In this paper I reject the argument by demonstrating that there is no causal competition ever between an omission and the action performed instead. I propose what I call the Realisationist Conception of Omissions, which consists in considering omissions as multiply realisable absences whose realisers are specific positive actions. I further argue in favour of the Determinationist Conception of Omissions, according to which the relation between omissions and their realisers is a determinable/determinate relation. Since there can be no causal preemption between a determinable and its determinates, there can be no causal preemption between omissions and the actions performed instead, and causalism is safe. I also show that this view of omissions has some other independent advantages – like for example that of solving the problem of the spatio-temporal localisation of omissions.
Reconciling omissions and causalism / Bacchini, Fabio. - In: REVIEW OF PHILOSOPHY AND PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 1878-5158. - 9:3(2018), pp. 627-645. [10.1007/s13164-018-0402-7]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11388/209064
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