epiphenomenalism

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epiphenomenalism

The belief that mental events are solely a consequence of physical events, specifically neural activity, and never the causes of them. Once considered heretical, the view is now widely held by scientists.
References in periodicals archive ?
The epiphenomenalist theory of mind claims that all subjectivity is the reflection and idle sport of matter--a sport with no energy expenditure, no purpose, and no efficacy in the real, physical realm.
Moreover, we have no legitimate reason to take seriously the arguments of an epiphenomenalist materialist, since he or she can claim no rational mind or human subjectivity in the normal sense.
The epiphenomenalist, who embraces the causal closure of physics, denies that mental properties have causal efficacy.
To recall Plantinga's analogy with respect to the relation of content and behavior on the semantic epiphenomenalist view, one could argue that a soprano sings only true sentence lyrics due to the fact that her vocal apparatus is the only means by which she earns her living.
Thomas Huxley, Darwin's champion, himself an epiphenomenalist, wrote: "How it is that anything so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as a result of irritating nervous tissue, is just as unaccountable as the appearance of Djinn when Aladdin rubbed his lamp.
These causal claims cannot be reconciled with an epiphenomenalist supervenience interpretation.
00--Building on earlier papers on the same theme, Chalmers argues here for a dualism which is epiphenomenalist (since nonphysical "phenomenal states" fail to interact with the physical, or indeed exhibit any causal powers), yet naturalistic (since these states exhibit correlating laws ensuring a perfect harmony with physical processes).
The penultimate section argues for an (evolutionary) emergentist origin of mind; it includes a rebuttal of some of the claims of epiphenomenalists such as Daniel Dennett, as well as a counterbalancing critique of Thomas Nagel's attack on evolution as insufficient to explain the origin of consciousness.
Earlier, I agreed with Johnston that the epiphenomenalists inevitably raised more questions than they answered.
Epiphenomenalists such as Gilbert Ryle then go ahead to declare that what we call mind is a secondary product of the brain, like the smoke or faggot given off by burning wood.
Most of all, the authors systematically present on analytical argument against epiphenomenalism, the argument of the justification of the assertion of the existence of consciousness, It is shown that whereas epiphenomenalists claim to know that consciousness exists, they implicitly deny the possibility of knowing consciousness, since (according to their position) consciousness cannot have any influence on our knowledge.