Supervenience Argument



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Quausal Exclusion 1

Except in cases of overdetermination, if F and G are distinct properties, and an instance c of F causes an event e in virtue of c’s being an instance of F, then it is not the case that c causes e in virtue of c’s being an instance of G.30


This principle, however, has no intuitive support that we can find, and we think it would be unfair to attribute it to Kim. Similar principles have been ably criticized by Fodor (1989), Jackson and Pettit (1990; see (B) at p. 110 for a straightforward counterexample), Heil and Mele (1991), and Yablo (1992), and we have little to add to those critiques beyond pointing out that a problem analogous to the one considered earlier about BKC and BMC would arise again: given Quausal Exclusion 1, where e (for example, Calpurnia's grieving) is an effect of Brutus' action of killing/murdering Caesar, BKC causing e in virtue of BKC’s being a murdering of Caesar would exclude BKC’s causing e in virtue of BKC’s being a killing of Caesar—surely something we should have no reason to claim.

Let us instead look to Kim’s other writings to see if a quausal exclusion principle might be derived from other claims he has made. In Kim 1988 we find a “principle of explanatory exclusion” (PEX), which states: “No event can be given more than one complete and independent explanation” (p. 239). There Kim also concedes that PEX is “something that many will, I’m afraid, consider absurdly strong and unacceptable” (ibid.). Absurdly strong or not, if we also assume Kim’s “explanatory realism”,31 we could try to make a case for the following principle on the basis of PEX:





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