more from William Lycan

Single Idea 6527

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 8. Dualism of Mind Critique]

Full Idea

By interacting causally, Cartesian dualism seems to violate the conservation laws of physics (concerning matter and energy). This seems testable, and afferent and efferent pathways disappearing into thin air would suggest energy is not conserved.


The law says, essentially, that energy cannot be created or destroyed

Gist of Idea

If energy in the brain disappears into thin air, this breaches physical conservation laws


William Lycan (Consciousness [1987], 1.1)

Book Reference

Lycan,William G.: 'Consciousness' [MIT 1995], p.2

A Reaction

It would seem to be no problem as long as outputs were identical in energy to inputs. If the experiment could actually be done, the result might astonish us.