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Open Theology

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Downward Causation – The Way How Mind and Matter Interact?

Andreas Losch
Published Online: 2015-10-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2015-0021


The paper analyzes Karl Popper’s and John Eccles’ account of mind-matter interaction and compares their use of the concept of downward causation with other more recent accounts of it, especially those of Nancey Murphy and George Ellis. The argument includes John Polkinghorne’s take on Divine action, as it provides an interesting version of downward mind/matter-interaction. It will be argued that while downward causation is a speculative concept, it nevertheless remains the best approximation to a scientific perspective on mind/matter interaction that we can obtain. As a result, Popper’s and Eccles’ account seems to be more interesting in these regards than usually assumed, and should not continue to be overlooked in the debate.

Keywords: Downward Causation; Mind; Matter; Interaction; Divine Action


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About the article

Received: 2015-07-12

Accepted: 2015-09-23

Published Online: 2015-10-27

Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 1, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2015-0021.

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©2015 Andreas Losch. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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