more from David Papineau

Single Idea 7862

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

Full Idea

Even if conscious decisions did not contribute causally to the actions normally attributed to them, they would still presumably be the causes of the sounds I make when I later report my earlier conscious decisions.

Gist of Idea

Maybe minds do not cause actions, but do cause us to report our decisions


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

Book Reference

Papineau,David: 'Thinking about Consciousness' [OUP 2004], p.25

A Reaction

This is a good reply to my view (borrowed from Dennett - Idea 7379), that epiphenomalism proposes an absurdity (an entity with no causal powers). But if mind can cause speech, why could it not cause arm movements?

Related Idea

Idea 7379 If an epiphenomenon has no physical effects, it has to be undetectable [Dennett]