Ordinary Objects and the Overdetermination Argument


  • Martin Orensanz


overdetermination, ordinary objects, eliminativism, causation, events


If an ordinary object causes an event, and if its atoms acting in concert cause the same event, then the event in question is overdetermined by two independent causes. The overdetermination argument aims to show that effects are never overdetermined in this way, and that we should only admit that the atoms acting in concert are the cause of the event in question. This means that the object constituted by those atoms does not cause anything, and if this is so, then the object does not exist. I submit that it is possible to resist the overdetermination argument by claiming that causation is strictly an event-event relation. However, the argument can be reformulated in a way that blocks this objection. I explain how the reformulated version of the argument can be resisted by claiming that there is only one causal event that is undergone by both the object and its atoms acting in concert. Additionally, I show how the epistemic argument that can be formulated in support of the overdetermination argument can be resisted as well.


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How to Cite

Orensanz, M. (2022). Ordinary Objects and the Overdetermination Argument. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 18(2), 445–456. Retrieved from http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/1046