Single Idea 5787

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 4. Emergentism]

Full Idea

The solidity of a table is explained causally by the behaviour of the molecules of which it is composed, but the solidity is not an extra event, it is just a feature of the table. This non-event causation models the relationship of mind and brain.

Gist of Idea

There is non-event causation between mind and brain, as between a table and its solidity


John Searle (The Mystery of Consciousness [1997], Ch.1)

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Mystery of Consciousness' [Granta 1997], p.7

A Reaction

He calls it 'non-event' causation, while referring to the 'behaviour of molecules'. Ask a physicist what a 'feature' is. Better to think of it as one process 'emerging' as another process at the macro-level.