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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 ?
He then presents a novel solution to CTM's epiphenomenalist conundrum.
Dismissing idealism as a self-congratulatory, non-serious story of the presence of mind and psychic phenomena in the world, Jonas focuses his critical attention on classical Newtonian materialism and its correlative epiphenomenalist thesis of mind and subjectivity.
The epiphenomenalist theory of mind claims that all subjectivity is the reflection and idle sport of matter--a sport with no energy expenditure, no purpose, and no efficacy in the real, physical realm.
Schiller adopted an epiphenomenalist position on the mind-body problem.
Thomas Huxley, Darwin's champion, himself an epiphenomenalist, wrote: "How it is that anything so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as a result of irritating nervous tissue, is just as unaccountable as the appearance of Djinn when Aladdin rubbed his lamp.
King (63-7) offers a spirited, if ultimately unconvincing, defense of dualism against the epiphenomenalist challenge; see also Lloyd (132ff) and Lehar (183ff).
These causal claims cannot be reconciled with an epiphenomenalist supervenience interpretation.
Simmias' original version sounds like epiphenomenalist supervenience, because he says the attunement of a musical instrument is invisible and incorporeal, but it is located in a tuned instrument which is itself corporeal and composed of materials.
00--Building on earlier papers on the same theme, Chalmers argues here for a dualism which is epiphenomenalist (since nonphysical "phenomenal states" fail to interact with the physical, or indeed exhibit any causal powers), yet naturalistic (since these states exhibit correlating laws ensuring a perfect harmony with physical processes).