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Topic: Epiphenomenalism

  Epiphenomenalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Epiphenomenalism is the view in philosophy of mind according to which physical events have mental effects, but mental events have no effects of any kind.
According to epiphenomenalism, mental events like Pierre's pleasurable experience -- or at any rate their distinctive qualia -- are just epiphenomena; they are side-effects or by-products of physical processes in the nervous system.
Thomas Huxley (1874) likened mental phenomena to the whistle on a steam locomotive.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Epiphenomenalism   (1643 words)

 Epiphenomenalism Information
According to epiphenomenalism, mental events like Pierre's pleasurable experience -- or at any rate their distinctive qualia -- are just epiphenomena; they are side-effects or by-products of physical processes in the nervous system.
The philosophical behaviorists (as opposed to scientific behaviourists) would reject epiphenomenalism on the grounds that it is, in Gilbert Ryle's phrase, a "category mistake." Just as there is no Cartesian "ghost in the machine", there are no ghostly events that accompany behavior in an inner theater.
The scientific data support the idea that conscious experience is created by non-conscious processes in the brain (ie: that there is subliminal processing that becomes conscious experience) and has been controversially interpreted to suggest that that many of these processes are capable of action before conscious experience containing the action occurs.
www.bookrags.com /Epiphenomenalism   (1620 words)

 Epiphenomenalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
The modern discussion of epiphenomenalism, however, traces back to a 19th century context, in which a dualistic view of mental events was assumed to be correct.
Further support for epiphenomenalism can be derived from the fact, noted by Wilhelm Wundt (1912), that "each simple sensation is joined to a very complicated combination of peripheral and central nerve processes", together with the fact that the causes of behavior are likewise complex neural events.
Lewis's point here is not to argue for or against epiphenomenalism; rather, he assumes epiphenomenalism is false, and uses the fact that the hypothesis of phenomenal information leads to it as an argument against that hypothesis.
plato.stanford.edu /entries/epiphenomenalism   (7264 words)

 Epiphenomenalism [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
Epiphenomenalism is a position in the philosophy of mind according to which mental states or events are caused by physical states or events in the brain but do not themselves cause anything.
Epiphenomenalism required an intellectual climate in which two apparently discordant beliefs about the world were equally well entrenched: a dualism with respect to mind and body on the one hand and a scientific naturalism or mechanism concerning the body on the other.
Therefore, epiphenomenalism can be regarded as the inevitable result of the attempt to combine a scientific naturalism with respect to the body with a dualism with respect to the mind.
www.iep.utm.edu /e/epipheno.htm   (6452 words)

 LM1003 Philosophy and Human Nature   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
Epiphenomenalism is usually thought of as a species of dualism - it implies that mental states are not part of the material world because the material world is made up of entities that causally interact with one another.
But epiphenomenalism avoids the problems of dualism relating to causal interaction - it does not imply, for example, that the physical world is acted upon by something non-physical.
Cartesian dualism), epiphenomenalism avoids having to claim that there are violations of physical laws in the functioning of the brain.
www.st-andrews.ac.uk /~sjp7/LM1003/handout_17.htm   (1525 words)

 JCS Journal of Consciousness Studies 13,1-2
Though neuroscience cannot strictly prove or rule out any one of these interpretations it can be argued that methodological principles favour a causal interpretation on epiphenomenalist lines, both for reasons of metaphysical parsimony and for reasons of coherence with established physical principles such as the conservation of energy.
A method is developed for distinguishing ‘emergent ontological causation’ from the epistemological emergent explanatory patterns sanctioned by the SPW, and it is argued that the SPW implies that all emergence is mere epistemological emergence.
Abstract: It is often said that if non-reductive physicalism were correct, it would entail epiphenomenalism about irreducible mental properties which would be ‘screened off’ from causal relevance by their physical supervenience or realization base.
www.imprint.co.uk /jcs_13_1-2.html   (1113 words)

 The Relationship Between the Mind and the Brain
Epiphenomenalism is the idea that consciousness is simply an effect of neural events in your brain.
Epiphenomenalism is in many ways an appealing philosophy of mind, as it seems to solve one of the most mysterious problems in philosophy without denying either what science tells us or our undeniable experience of concsciousness.
Epiphenomenalism, as a sound, scientific-minded doctrine, is commited to saying that this must be a certain pattern of neural activity.
www.bigissueground.com /philosophy/ash-mindandbrain.shtml   (1835 words)

Epiphenomenalism avoids some of the problems associated with interactionism.
Epiphenomenalism may avoid some of the problems of dualism, but it does not avoid all of them.
Epiphenomenalism thus reduces us to mere spectators of our lives, watching what happens but unable to affect it.
www.philosophyofmind.info /epiphenomenalism.html   (346 words)

 Philosophy of Mind - Dualism - Epiphenomenalism
Epiphenomenalism argues that mental events are caused by - or are a by-product of - physical events, but that the interaction is one-way: mental events cannot affect physical ones.
The analogy often used is that of the smoke that comes from a factory which is a by-product of its running, but does not actually affect its running.
Epiphenomenalism is often confused with materialism but this is in fact a misunderstanding.
www.philosophyonline.co.uk /pom/pom_epiphenomenalism.htm   (217 words)

Epiphenomenalism arose in a 19th Century context in which a dualistic view of mental events was assumed to be correct.
Critics of epiphenomenalism can of course point out that there is a property that interactionism, but not epiphenomenalism, assigns to P3 -- namely, the property of being indirectly caused by M.
Epiphenomenalists, however, are likely to think that the intuitive connection between this property and knowledge is much weaker than that between knowledge of M and the fact that P3 would not be occurring unless M had recently occurred.
www.seop.leeds.ac.uk /archives/fall2002/entries/epiphenomenalism   (6471 words)

 Foundations.Cognitive.Science2001: Epiphenomenalism and Zombies   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
One thing I overlooked was the key objection, epiphenomenalism, but I now (finally..) have a couple of things to say about that.
Firstly if epiphenomenalism were true then we behave as though we are zombies.
But it might be that x has a higher probability of being born in the first place, if the adaptation required to produce it is smaller (due to some functionality of consciousness) than the adaptation required to produce y.
www.ecs.soton.ac.uk /%7Eharnad/Hypermail/Foundations.Cognitive.Science2001/0161.html   (430 words)

 [No title]
The issue of epiphenomenalism with respect the phenomenal image is also an aspect of the debate and sometimes assumes prominence in the description of what is at issue.
Obviously then, Kosslyn's other reasons for thinking that the epiphenomenalism of experiences is false give way, in the final analysis, to the scientific requirement that he remain neutral on the issue until more evidence is at hand.
Epiphenomenalism is a logical possibility and we know that common sense is not always right.
www.gis.net /~tbirch/fsdchap4.htm   (12958 words)

 [No title]
This conclusion boils down to the fact that classical physical theory makes consciousness epiphenomenal, in the sense that the precepts of classical physical theory render any causal effect of consciousness on the physical world completely superfluous and ineffectual, because the effect is already caused by purely objective aspects acting alone.
Searle's way of addressing the problem of epiphenomenalism is to down play the lack of an appropriate LOGICAL connection between consciousness and brain, and stress rather the presence of the CAUSAL connections, which Chalmers separates out in terms of psycho-physical laws.
But I do not think that this solves the epiphenomenalism problem: if, as claimed by the precepts of classical physical theory, the objective world is already causally complete, then the causal chains via the subjective aspect of nature are superfluous and ineffectual.
www-physics.lbl.gov /~stapp/scc.txt   (1062 words)

 John Gregg: Epiphenomenalism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
Epiphenomenalism is the claim that even if consciousness is real in the Hard Problem sense, there is no room for it to be causally efficacious.
If you couple the two aspects (functional and experiential) closely enough to make epiphenomenalism remotely plausible, then you couple them too closely to say that one is efficacious and the other is not.
If you accept the Hard Problem, and you believe that epiphenomenalism is false, then you are committed to the belief that current physics is wrong, or at least substantially incomplete in some sense that allows for an as-yet undiscovered force to have a physical effect.
home.comcast.net /~johnrgregg/epiph.htm   (1317 words)

epiphenomenalism, the argument from the justification of the
Epiphenomenalism is the thesis that the mind or
Epiphenomenalism is an answer to the question of the causal
www.emergentmind.org /rivas-vandongen.htm   (2519 words)

 [No title]
Property P is epiphenomenal with respect to property Q if exemplifications of the former are causally inefficacious with respect to exemplifications of the latter, yet there is some link between the two.
Of interest to, e.g., psychologists and philosophers of mind, is the claim that mental properties are epiphenomenal with respect to physical properties.
The angledness of the item is epiphenomenal to its winding up in the "rectangle" bin, in the case of the second machine.
publish.uwo.ca /~mcintosh/epi.htm   (341 words)

 [No title]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
Argues with epiphenomenalism, "conscious inessentialism", and the "new mysterians" (Nagel, McGinn).
With arguments against eliminativism and epiphenomenalism, evidence from neuroscience and psychology, and discussions of the stream and the self.
Uses the Mary thought-experiment to argue that qualia are epiphenomenal, and argues that epiphenomenalism is a tenable doctrine.
consc.net /biblio/biblio.ascii   (12777 words)

 New Page 1
As for what 'epiphenomenalism' means, consider Broad's remark made in reply to Wm Kneale's marvelous essay, "Broad on Mental Events and Epiphenomenalism" (The Philosophy of C. Broad Edited by Paul Arthur Schilpp.
Thus epiphenomenalism is just One-sided Action of Body on Mind, together with a special theory about the nature and structure of mind.
The voluntary initiation and control of bodily movements is an example of the first kind of experience, and the occurrence of a new sensation is an example of a second kind.
www.hist-analytic.org /Broadepi.htm   (1046 words)

 Imagination, Indexicality, and Intensions
I think the zombie argument is not just an argument for epiphenomenalism, and that the possibility of zombies is compatible with non-epiphenomenalist dualism (see the end of this section).
Whether the zombie argument is an argument for epiphenomenalism or for dualism: if it rests on prior acceptance of epiphenomenalism, then the argument begs the question.
Also: a Russellian "panprotopsychist", who holds that consciousness is constituted by the unknown intrinsic categorical bases of microphysical dispositions, can accept the possibility of zombies by accepting the possibility of worlds in which the microphysical dispositions have a different categorical basis, or none at all.
consc.net /papers/perry.html   (6250 words)

 Psyche 8(06): 'Experiential Location and Points of View: A Review of Max Velmans' Understanding Consciousness ' ...
Two distinctive aspects of the latter are full recognition of the spatial character of many of our experiences, and equal respect for first- and third-person points of view.
Difficulties attend several of Velmans’ points, among them his way of rejecting of epiphenomenalism, and his use of the concept of representation.
Epiphenomenalism for consciousness is, indeed, the conclusion that should logically be drawn by those who accept Velmans' account of how matters stand in the third person point of view and who do not accept Velmans' further remarks.
psyche.cs.monash.edu.au /v8/psyche-8-06-robinson.html   (2455 words)

 Please explain the "TV set" model of the brain - Page 4 - JREF Forum   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
But it appears to me that Epiphenomenalism (as Paul describes it) is self contradictory in its definition, so I'm not sure who you are directing this diatribe towards.
Epiphenomenalism is simply a description that is applied to anyone whose beliefs on the mind/body problem has as a consequenbce that mentality is causally inefficacious.
Applying this to epiphenomenalism as an analogy you are saying consciousness has no causal powers, yet we know of its existence.
www.randi.org /forumlive/showthread.php?t=42032&page=4   (3768 words)

 [No title]
[Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy p.334] (Mental states may be shared by a variety of physical systems) Epiphenomenalism, denies causal roles to mental states, although it does not deny the existence of mental states.
Epiphenomenalism is coherent but not, Flanagan concludes, credible.
He opposes epiphenomenalism — conscious states do have a functional role — they have been selected in revolution.
www.pitt.edu /~olbyr/MM26.doc   (880 words)

 Please explain the "TV set" model of the brain - Page 5 - JREF Forum   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
Given epiphenomenalism all psychological states or mental states are purely epiphenomenal.
If epiphenomenalism was your premise then you should not have stated your premise in this form that is widely understood in logic to denote an implication.
So under the assumption of epiphenomenalism the physical event that produces conviction is producing a certain variety of consciousness.
www.randi.org /forumlive/showthread.php?t=42032&page=5   (4244 words)

 Free Term Papers on Epiphenomenalism
Epiphenomenalism totally disregards the things that make humans unique and distinct in favour of an easy answer to the parts of life that are difficult to relate or explain with science.
Richard Taylor explains epiphenomenalism by saying: "A person is a living physical body having a mind, the mind consisting however, of nothing but a more or less continuous series of conscious or unconscious states and events, such as feelings, thoughts, images, and ideas, which are the effects but never the causes of bodily activities.
Relating this to Taylors definition of epiphenomenalism, one could assume that since there are no bodily functions the mind would not have any events.
www.freefortermpapers.com /show_essay/379.html   (220 words)

 Other Dualisms
Epiphenomenalism is a form of Parallelism which has some present day advocates.
According to Epiphenomenalism, the mind is not a separate non-physical substance as in the previously stated Interactionist dualism.
The Epiphenomenal mental property is thought to appear when the growing brain passes a certain level of complexity.
www.portfolio.mvm.ed.ac.uk /studentwebs/session3/61/epiphen.htm   (1603 words)

 A Defense of the Knowledge Argument   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
The correctness of physics and HPI together yield epiphenomenalism only on a more robust construal of physics, according to which it claims that only physical causes can have physical effects.
The exclusion argument for epiphenomenalism rests on a view of the relation between mental and physical properties to which opponents of physicalism need not be committed.
The general strategy of such proposals is to allow that a mental event and a physical event may have partially overlapping causal powers, in which case they do not compete for the title "cause" in the way the exclusion argument envisions.
philosophy.wisc.edu /gertler/ADefense.htm   (5999 words)

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