more from T.H. Huxley

Single Idea 3154

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 6. Epiphenomenalism]

Full Idea

All states of consciousness are caused by molecular changes of brain substance. It seems to me there is no proof that any state of consciousness is the cause of change in the motion of the matter of the organism.

Gist of Idea

Brain causes mind, but it doesn't seem that mind causes actions


T.H. Huxley (Method and Results [1893], p.244), quoted by Georges Rey - Contemporary Philosophy of Mind 3.1.1

Book Reference

Rey,Georges: 'Contemporary Philosophy of Mind' [Blackwell 1997], p.73

A Reaction

This sounds odd. Most people would say there is nothing more obvious than mental events causing actions. It certainly seems undeniable that actions are cause by the contents of thoughts, so a molecular account of intentional states is needed.