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n. Philosophy
The doctrine holding that all mental activity, including conscious experience, are simply epiphenomena of the neural processes of the brain.


(Philosophy) the dualistic doctrine that consciousness is merely a by-product of physiological processes and has no power to affect them. Compare interactionism, parallelism
ˌepipheˈnomenalist n, adj


(ˌɛp ə fəˈnɒm ə nlˌɪz əm)

the theory that consciousness is merely an epiphenomenon of physiological processes of the brain without the power to affect these processes.
ep`i•phe•nom′e•nal•ist, n.


the doctrine that consciousness is a mere accessory and accompaniment of physiological processes and is powerless to affect these processes. — epiphenomenalist, n.epiphenomenal, adj.
See also: Philosophy
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References in periodicals archive ?
The hallowed principles of classical Newtonian physics, namely, strong objectivity, causal determinism, locality, materialism, and epiphenomenalism, do not apply at all at the quantum level.
Thus epiphenomenalism has become mainstream, reinforced by such statements as the following, found in Gerald Edelman and Giulio Tononi's (2000) conclusion to their book, A Universe of Consciousness, where they observe:
Swinburne, Richard (2011a), "Could Anyone Justifiably Believe Epiphenomenalism," Journal of Consciousness Studies 18(3/4): 196-216.
1989), "Type Epiphenomenalism, Type Dualism, and the Causal Priority of the Physical," Philosophical Perspectives 3: 109-135.
Third, there is nomological dualism, which is also called parallelism and epiphenomenalism.
Unless it is shown that some physical events in the brain can be caused by some mental events, epiphenomenalism would be true.
Epiphenomenalism, which leaves the mind an impotent bystander in a world of the physical?
Carter begins in chapter 1 by outlining some of the more prominent philosophies of mind that are usually adduced as evidence against postmortem survival: epiphenomenalism, identity theory, and behaviorism, each of which entails that consciousness cannot survive the death of the brain.
This position of Hume seems to have set the stage for other materialist account of mind/body problem which include identity theory and epiphenomenalism.
Right now I want to focus on another absurd consequence that I mentioned earlier: Epiphenomenalism.
2) Bedke's argument seems compatible with epiphenomenalism, so an alternative to premise