more from David Papineau

Single Idea 7860

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

Full Idea

If epiphenomenalism were true, then the relation between mind and brain would be like nothing else in nature. After all, science recognises no other examples of 'causal danglers', ontologically independent states with causes but no effects.

Gist of Idea

The epiphenomenal relation of mind and brain is a 'causal dangler', unlike anything else


David Papineau (Thinking about Consciousness [2002], 1.4)

Book Reference

Papineau,David: 'Thinking about Consciousness' [OUP 2004], p.23

A Reaction

This would be a good enough reason for me to reject the epiphenomenalist view, even if I thought it was a coherent proposal. Insofar as it proposes the existence of something (mind) with no causal powers at all, it strikes me as nonsense.