The Epistemological Approach to Mental Causation

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    Epistemological approaches to mental causation argue that the notorious problem of mental causation as captured in the question “How can irreducible, physically realized, and potentially relational mental properties be causally efficacious in the production of physical effects?” has a very simple solution: One merely has to abandon any metaphysical considerations in favor of epistemological considerations and accept that our explanatory practice is a much better guide to causal relevance than the metaphysical reasoning carried out from the philosophical armchair. Walter argues that epistemological approaches to mental causation do not enjoy any genuine advantage over theories which treat the problem of mental causation as a genuinely metaphysical problem.