Justin Tiehen

Associate Professor of Philosophy

University of Puget Sound

1500 N. Warner St. • Wyatt Hall 318 (CMB 1086) • Tacoma, WA 98416-1086 • jtiehen-at-ups-dot-edu




“Subset Realization and the Problem of Property Entailment,” forthcoming in Erkenntnis.

I argue that Sydney Shoemaker’s response to Brian McLaughlin’s objection to the subset account of realization is unsuccessful. I then put forward my own response to McLaughlin’s objection.


“The Role Functionalist Theory of Absences,” forthcoming in Erkenntnis.


Functionalist theories have been proposed for just about everything: mental states, dispositions, moral properties, truth, causation, and much else. In this work I defend a role functionalist theory of nothing. Or, more accurately, a role functionalist theory of those absences that are causes and effects.


“The Cost of Forfeiting Causal Inheritance,” Philosophical Studies, 165.2 (2013), 491-507.


I draw on Jaegwon Kim’s causal inheritance principle to argue against Sydney Shoemaker’s subset account of realization. In the process, I draw on a debate regarding the extended mind hypothesis defended by Andy Clark and David Chalmers.


“Ectoplasm Earth,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 42.3/4 (2012), 167-186.


Distinguish the general thesis of physicalism simpliciter from the more restricted thesis of physicalism about the mental. Physicalism about the mental cannot be defined in terms of psychophysical supervenience or any alternative relation that entails such supervenience. Instead, it must be defined in terms of a form of realization that is not supervenience-entailing.


“Psychophysical Reductionism without Type Identities,” American Philosophical Quarterly, 49.3 (2012), 223-236.


If you’re going to be a psychophysical reductionist, must you be a type identity theorist? No. In this work I set out an alternative reductionist view, type eliminativism, and argue for its superiority to the type identity theory.


“Disproportional Mental Causation,” Synthese, 182 (2011), 375-391.


I argue against the proportionality component of Stephen Yablo’s account of mental causation and show that alternative nonreductive physicalist accounts of mental causation that do not appeal to proportionality can avoid counterexamples that Yablo’s account is susceptible to.


“Emergence and Quantum Mechanics,” with Fred Kronz, Philosophy of Science, 69.2 (2002), 324-347.


We develop an account of dynamic emergence, according to which emergent wholes are produced by an essential, ongoing interaction of their parts. We argue that this account has application within quantum mechanics, and in particular that it applies in cases involving nonseparable Hamiltonians.


Work in Progress


“Explaining Causal Closure”


Why is the physical realm causal closed?  What explains causal closure? I argue that physicalists are committed to one explanation of causal closure to the exclusion of others, and that as a result no physicalist can maintain that dualism is causally problematic.




Dissertation Abstract

            A brief summary of my dissertation on mental causation.


Dissertation: Normativism and Mental Causation

            All 293 pages of it.