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Title: Content, Causation and Relational Properties
Author: Lock, Suzanne M.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3611 9423
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2007
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If mental properties are relational properties, their causal relevance can be called into question on the grounds that only intrinsic properties are causally efficacious. I argue that this problem has wider scope than is generally recognised by demonstrating that a number of the most attractive theories of mind posit relational content properties. This is contrary to the popular view that the problem of relational properties only ~rises for extemalist and computational theories of mind. I argue that the best attempts to provide an account ofproperty efficacy fail to account for the efficacy of relational properties, and consider whether any of the strategies can be used to develop an account which can be satisfied by relational properties. I identify the use of supervenient causation as a prima Jacie promising strategy.· However, the forms of supervenience offered do not seem to be ones which enable relational properties to supervene. I discuss the notion of supervenience and draw attention to the failure of relational properties to supervene under standard varieties of supervenience. I develop a new version of supervenience, which enables some relational properties to be considered supervenient. This enables me to give an account of property efficacy which can be satisfied by some relational properties. A number of theories of content do not satisfy the account of property efficacy which I develop, but I remain optimistic that the path of reconciliation is the right one to follow to resolve the problem of relational properties.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available