Single Idea 3531

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 5. Supervenience of mind]

Full Idea

That mental features supervene on neuronal features in no way diminishes their causal efficacy. The solidity of the piston is supervenient on its molecular structure, but this does not make solidity epiphenomenal.

Gist of Idea

Mental events can cause even though supervenient, like the solidity of a piston


John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.V)

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Rediscovery of the Mind' [MIT 1999], p.126

A Reaction

Searle's examples never seem to quite fit what he is saying. Molecules and solidity are supervenient because they are identical (solidity is the presence of certain molecules). Solidity doesn't have causal powers that molecules lack.