Michael Esfeld: The causal theory of properties, qualia and mental causation
The problem of mental causation disappears if (and only if) mental property tokens are identical with neurobiological property tokens. The challenge is to work that identity thesis out in a conservative manner, that is, by paying heed to the characteristic features of mental properties instead of eliminating them. I argue that the causal theory of properties can do the trick: properties are dispositions (powers) to produce certain effects. I first indicate the main arguments for that theory, then show how it can cope not only with intentional properties but also with qualia and finally point out how it can provide for an account of causation that brings mental and physical causation together.