In philosophy of mind, epiphenomenalism, also known as 'Type-E Dualism' is a view according to which some or all mental states are mere epiphenomena (side-effects or by-products) of physical states of the world. Philosophy of mind is the branch of Philosophy that studies the nature of the Mind, Mental events Mental functions mental properties This is the view that ‘ Phenomenal properties’ are different from Physical properties The term intentionality is often simplistically summarised as "aboutness" See also Epiphenomenalism, Medicine An epiphenomenon (plural - epiphenomena is a secondary Phenomenon that occurs alongside or in parallel A state of matter (or physical state, or form of matter) has physical properties which are qualitatively different from other states of matter "The world " is a proper noun for the planet Earth envisioned from an Anthropocentric or Human Worldview, as a place Thus, epiphenomenalism denies that the mind (as in its states, not its processing) has any causal influence on the body or any other part of the physical world: while mental states are caused by physical states, mental states do not have any causal influence on physical states. MIND ( Moving In New Directions) (est 1975 is an alternative education high school in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. MIND ( Moving In New Directions) (est 1975 is an alternative education high school in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The human body is the entire physical and mental structure of a Human Organism. Some versions of epiphenomenalism claim that all mental states are causally inert, while others claim that only some mental states are causally inert. The latter version often claims that only those types of mental states that are especially difficult to account for scientifically are epiphenomenal, such as qualitative mental states (e. Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding " Qualia " (ˈkwɑːliə is "an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us the ways things seem to us" g. , the sensation of pain). In Psychology, sensation is the first stage in the biochemical and neurologic events that begins with the impinging of a stimulus upon the receptor cells of a Pain, in the sense of physical pain, is a typical sensory experience that may be described as the unpleasant awareness of a noxious stimulus or bodily harm
One of the earliest views resembling epiphenomenalism was discussed by Thomas Huxley. Thomas Henry Huxley PC FRS (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895 was an English Biologist, known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy Huxley (1874) likened mental phenomena to the whistle on a steam locomotive. However, epiphenomenalism flourished primarily as it found a niche among methodological or scientific behaviorism. In the early 1900s scientific behaviorists such as Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson, and B. F. Skinner began the attempt to uncover laws describing the relationship between stimuli and responses, without reference to inner mental phenomena. Behaviorism or Behaviourism, also called the learning perspective (where any physical action is a behavior is a philosophy of Psychology based on the For other uses see Pavlov (disambiguation. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (Иван Петрович Павлов September 14, 1849 &ndash February John Broadus Watson ( January 9, 1878 &ndash September 25, 1958) was an American psychologist who established the psychological Burrhus Frederic Skinner ( March 20, 1904 &ndash August 18 1990) was an influential American Psychologist, author Instead of adopting a form of eliminativism or mental fictionalism, positions that deny that inner mental phenomena exists, a behaviorist was able to adopt epiphenomenalism in order to allow for the existence of mind. Eliminative materialism (also called eliminativism) is a materialist position in the Philosophy of mind. Fictionalism is a methodological theory in Philosophy that suggests that statements of a certain sort should not be taken to be literally true but merely a useful Fiction However, by the 1960s, scientific behaviourism met substantial difficulties and eventually gave way to the cognitive revolution. The " cognitive revolution " is the name for an intellectual movement in the 1950s that began what are known collectively as the Cognitive sciences It began in the modern Participants in that revolution, such as Jerry Fodor, reject epiphenomenalism and insist upon the causal efficacy of the mind. Jerry Alan Fodor (born 1935 in New York City, New York) is an American philosopher and cognitive scientist. Fodor even speaks of "epiphobia"—fear that one is becoming an epiphenomenalist.
However, since the cognitive revolution, there have been several who have argued for a version of epiphenomenalism. These more recent versions, however, maintain that only the subjective, qualitative aspects of mental states are epiphenomenal. Imagine both Pierre and a robot eating a cupcake. Unlike the robot, Pierre is conscious of eating the cupcake while the behavior is under way. This subjective experience is often called a quale (plural qualia), and it describes the private "raw feel" or the subjective "what-it-is-like" that is the inner accompaniment of many mental states. " Qualia " (ˈkwɑːliə is "an unfamiliar term for something that could not be more familiar to each of us the ways things seem to us" Thomas Nagel (born July 4 1937 is an American Philosopher, currently University Professor and Professor of Philosophy and Law Thus, while Pierre and the robot are both doing the same thing, only Pierre has the inner conscious experience.
Frank Jackson (1982), for example, once espoused the following view:
|“||I am what is sometimes known as a "qualia freak". Frank Cameron Jackson (born 1943 is an Australian philosopher currently Distinguished Professor and former Director I think that there are certain features of bodily sensations especially, but also of certain perceptual experiences, which no amount of purely physical information includes. Tell me everything physical there is to tell about what is going on in a living brain. . . you won't have told me about the hurtfulness of pains, the itchiness of itches, pangs of jealousy. . . . ||”|
According to epiphenomenalism, mental states like Pierre's pleasurable experience—or, at any rate, their distinctive qualia—are just epiphenomena; they are side-effects or by-products of physical processes in the body. See also Epiphenomenalism, Medicine An epiphenomenon (plural - epiphenomena is a secondary Phenomenon that occurs alongside or in parallel Pierre, according to epiphenomenalism, might as well be a robot or a zombie, because conscious mental states do not affect his behavior. A philosophical Zombie, p-zombie or p-zed is a hypothetical being that is indistinguishable from a normal human being except that it lacks conscious If Pierre takes a second bite, it is not caused by his pleasure from the first; If Pierre says, "That was good, so I will take another bite", his speech act is not caused by the preceding pleasure. The conscious experiences that accompany brain processes are causally impotent.
A large body of neurophysiological data seems to support epiphenomenalism. Some of the oldest such data is the Bereitschaftspotential or "readiness potential" in which electrical activity related to voluntary actions can be recorded up to two seconds before the subject is aware of taking a decision to perform the action. In Neurology, the Bereitschaftspotential or BP (from German, " readiness potential " also called the pre-motor potential or readiness More recently Benjamin Libet et al (1979) have shown that it can take 0. Benjamin Libet ( April 12, 1916 - July 23, 2007) was a researcher in the Physiology department of the University of California 5 seconds before a stimulus becomes part of conscious experience even though subjects can respond to the stimulus in reaction time tests within 200 milliseconds. Recent research on the Event Related Potential also shows that conscious experience does not occur until the late phase of the potential (P3 or later) that occurs 300 milliseconds or more after the event. In Bregman's Auditory Continuity Illusion, where a pure tone is followed by broadband noise and the noise is followed by the same pure tone it seems as if the tone occurs throughout the period of noise. The illusory continuity of tones is the Auditory illusion caused when a tone is interrupted for a short time (approximately 50ms or less during which a narrow band of This also suggests a delay for processing data before conscious experience occurs. Norretranders has called the delay "The User Illusion" implying that we only have the illusion of conscious control, most actions being controlled automatically by non-conscious parts of the brain with the conscious mind relegated to the role of spectator. The user illusion is the illusion created for the user by a Human-computer interface, for example the visual metaphor of a desktop used in many Graphical user
The scientific data seem to support the idea that conscious experience is created by non-conscious processes in the brain (i. e. , there is subliminal processing that becomes conscious experience). These results have been interpreted to suggest that people are capable of action before conscious experience of the decision to act occurs. Some argue that this supports epiphenomenalism, since it shows that the feeling of making a decision to act is actually an epiphenomenon; the action happens before the decision, so the decision did not cause the action to occur.
The philosophical behaviorists (as opposed to scientific behaviourists) reject epiphenomenalism on the grounds that it is, in Gilbert Ryle's phrase, a "category mistake. Gilbert Ryle ( 19 August 1900 - 6 October 1976) was a British Philosopher, and a representative of the generation of A category mistake, or category error, is a Semantic or ontological error by which a property is ascribed to a thing that could not possibly have that property " Just as there is no Cartesian "ghost in the machine", there are no ghostly events that accompany behavior in an inner theater. Consciousness belongs not to the category of objects of reference, but rather to the category of ways of doing things. To be attentive is to do things with focus and care, not for something to be happening in the ghostly theater that Ryle lampooned as a dualist dogma.
Functionalists chart a different course, accepting that there is a system of mental events mediating stimulus and response, but asserting that this system is "topic neutral" and capable of being realized in various ways. Functionalism is a theory of the mind in contemporary Philosophy, developed largely as an alternative to both the Identity theory of mind and Behaviourism Multiple realizability, in Philosophy of mind, is the thesis that the same mental property state or event can be implemented by different physical properties states The topic neutrality of the mind implies the denial of epiphenomenalism, which, as a kind of property dualism, fixes consciousness as a non-neutral, non-physical topic.
Eliminative materialists, on the other hand, assert that the concept of mind aims to fix reference to a non-physical topic; so they disagree with the philosophical behaviorist analysis, as well as the functionalist analysis. Eliminative materialism (also called eliminativism) is a materialist position in the Philosophy of mind. Eliminative materialism holds, however, that this dualistic aim of "folk psychology" is a fatal error built into mental concepts. Folk psychology (also known as common sense psychology naϊve psychology or vernacular psychology is a set of assumptions constructs and convictions about everyday behaviors of ourselves and others So it would be better to eliminate the concept of mind, and concepts implicated in it such as desire and belief, in favor of an emerging neurocomputational account. (A more moderate eliminativist position would maintain what J. L. Mackie called an error theory, stripping false beliefs away from the problematic concepts but not eliminating them, leaving intact a legitimate core of meaning. John Leslie Mackie (1917&ndash1981 was an Australian philosopher, originally from Sydney. )
Benjamin Libet's results are quoted in favor of epiphenomenalism, but he believes subjects still have a "conscious veto", since the readiness potential does not invariably lead to an action. Benjamin Libet ( April 12, 1916 - July 23, 2007) was a researcher in the Physiology department of the University of California In Freedom Evolves, Daniel Dennett argues that the no-free-will conclusion is based on dubious assumptions about the location of consciousness. Freedom Evolves is a 2003 popular science and philosophy book by Daniel C Daniel Clement Dennett (born March 28 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a prominent American philosopher whose research
Many argue that data such as the Bereitschaftspotential undermine, rather than support, epiphenomenalism. Such experiments rely on the subject reporting the point in time when conscious experience apparently occurs, which relies on the subject being able to consciously perform an action, and on conscious experience being effective enough to prompt a response. Such a premise contradicts epiphenomenalism, which claims that conscious experience has no effects and therefore cannot be measured. Hence, so the argument goes, any experiment that detects whether or when conscious experience occurs argues strongly against, not for, epiphenomenalism. 
Another criticism of epiphenomenalism is that the presence of the theory of epiphenomenalism seems to contradict the very idea. Most would agree that thinking is a mental process, but, if epiphenomenalism is true, how could someone ever express the idea of epiphenomenalism? It would be impossible, because this "expressing" would require the banned connection between mind and behavior. If epiphenomenalism is true and thinking is a mental process, then its truth is ineffable. So in the example above, Pierre cannot convey his pleasure.
Additionally, many argue that the history of epiphenomenalism is revealing. It was concocted as a potential solution to a problem facing dualism: By what mechanism does the mental realm affect the physical? Epiphenomenalism provides an out: The mental realm simply doesn't affect the physical, so the issue is moot. Dualism denotes a state of two parts The word's origin is the Latin duo, "two". Because it arose out of an attempt to save another conjecture rather than by its own merits, epiphenomenalism can be seen as suspiciously motivated.
Green (2003) has argued that epiphenomenalism does not even provide a satisfactory ‘out’ from the problem of interaction posed by substance dualism. According to Green, epiphenomenalism implies a one-way form of interactionism that is just as hard to conceive of as the two-way form embodied in substance dualism. If it is a problem how mental events can causally influence physical events, how is it any less of a problem how physical events can influence mental ones? Green suggests that the assumption that it is less of a problem may arise from the unexamined belief that physical events have some sort of primacy over mental ones.
If epiphenomenalism is really nothing but a way of rescuing dualism, then the whole issue can be avoided by rejecting dualism. For instance, if the mind is identical to the brain, it must have the same causal powers as the brain, by Leibniz's law. Type physicalism (also known as Type Identity Theory, Mind-Brain Identity Theory and Identity Theory of Mind) is a theory in Philosophy of mind The identity of indiscernibles is an ontological principle which states that two or more objects or entities are identical (are one and the same entity