Dejan R. Dimitrijević

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The strongest support to the metaphysical thesis of physicalism – the argument from the causal closure of the physical – is shown to be effective only against the accounts of mental causation manifested in the action of forces. An interactionist account of mental causation based on probabilistic considerations of anomalous correlations of neural events, instead of anomalous accelerations of the particles that make up the nervous system, is proposed. Local violation of the Second Law of thermodynamics by the actions of the mind is implied, and mental causation is explained as the disposition of mental states to alter the state probability distribution within the nervous system, with no violation of the conservation laws. The main features of this account and some of its physical and metaphysical implications and advantages are discussed: an indication of the causal unity of nature, elimination of the problem of causal power drainage, explanatory simplicity, and redefining the domain of the physical. The account refutes the claim of the anomalousness of the mental and anticipates the existence of probabilistic psychophysical laws. Its truthfulness is verifiable by extensive neurophysical and physiological research, involving statistical analysis of neural correlations.


Mental causation, Causal closure of the physical, Second Law of thermodynamics, Maxwell’s demon, probability distribution

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