more from Samuel Alexander

Single Idea 3398

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 6. Epiphenomenalism]

Full Idea

Epiphenomenalism supposes something to exist in nature which has nothing to do and no purpose to serve.

Gist of Idea

Epiphenomenalism makes the mind totally pointless


Samuel Alexander (works [1927]), quoted by Jaegwon Kim - Philosophy of Mind p.129

Book Reference

Kim,Jaegwon: 'Philosophy of Mind' [Westview 1998], p.129

A Reaction

An objection, but not, I think, a strong one. The fact, for example, that sweat is shiny is the result of good evolutionary reasons, but I cannot think of any purpose which it serves. All events which are purposeful are likely to have side-effects.