Physical Determinability

  • Sophie C. Gibb Durham University, UK.
Keywords: the causal completeness principle, conservation laws, the powers theory of causation


I defend a dualist model of psychophysical causal relevance, according to which mental events are not causes in the physical domain, but are causally relevant in this domain because they enable — or, in other words, provide the appropriate structure for — physical events to be caused. More specifically, I defend the claim that mental events are ‘double preventers’ within the physical domain, where double preventers are a type of enabling event. The distinction that I make between causes and enabling events and the dualist model of psychophysical causal relevance that I defend has emerged from my acceptance of the powers theory of causation. In this paper, I explore how this dualist model of psychophysical causal relevance offers a response to Papineau’s defence of the causal completeness principle via the conservation laws.

How to Cite
Gibb, S. (2015). Physical Determinability. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 8(29), 69-90. Retrieved from