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Staff photo Bram Vaassen

Bram Vaassen

Affiliation

Postgraduate student at Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies Units: Philosophy Role: Student counsellor

E-mail

bram.vaassen@umu.se

Phone

+46 90 786 61 98

Location

A, Humanisthuset, HE120 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå


Affiliation

Coordinator, study at Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies Units: Philosophy Role: Student counsellor

E-mail

bram.vaassen@umu.se

Phone

+46 90 786 61 98

Location

A, Humanisthuset, HE120 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

I'm writing a dissertation on consciousness and causation. I also teach now and then.

Aside from that, I am also the student counsellor for courses in philosophy.

  • Presentation

    My doctoral dissertation ''Contemporary Dualism and Mental Causation'', will focus on the puzzle of causation by conscious events in the physical world for contemporary dualist theories of consciousness. Dualists maintain that conscious events like being in pain are not physical or in any way reducible to physical events. Given that it is widely accepted that all physical events are fully determined by previous physical events, the dualist view seems to imply that conscious events cannot cause physical events. However, instances of causation by conscious events are very familiar: our being in pain causes us to wince and our being thirsty causes us to drink water. Accounting for such familiar causal relations presents a challenge for dualism.

    I will critically evaluate three recent dualist attempts to solve this puzzle and provide an alternative approach which relies on recent developments in philosophy of causation and philosophy of science. These developments indicate that causation is a surface phenomenon that consists of strong patterns of correlation, rather than a beefy or fundamental relation. I will argue that these considerations might come in handy for the dualist. For now I conclude that even though this new approach encounters challenges of its own, it avoids some of the serious pitfalls previous dualist solutions to the puzzle ran into.

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  • Latest publications

    2019
    Umeå studies in philosophy, 13
    Vaassen, Bram
    2019
    Erkenntnis
    Vaassen, Bram
    2016
    Episteme: A journal of individual and social epistemology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2016, Vol. 13, (1) : 133-149
    Vaassen, Bram