Ideas from 'Space, Time and Deity (2 vols)' by Samuel Alexander [1927], by Theme Structure

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17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 6. Epiphenomenalism
Epiphenomenalism is like a pointless nobleman, kept for show, but soon to be abolished
                        Full Idea: Epiphenomenalism supposes something to exist in nature which has nothing to do, no purpose to serve, a species of noblesse which depends on the work of its inferiors, but is kept for show and might as well, and undoubtedly would in time be abolished.
                        From: Samuel Alexander (Space, Time and Deity (2 vols) [1927], 2:8), quoted by Jaegwon Kim - Nonreductivist troubles with ment.causation IV
                        A reaction: Wonderful! Kim quotes this, and labels the implicit slogan (to be real is to have causal powers) 'Alexander's Dictum'. All the examples given of epiphenomena are only causally inert within a defined system, but they act causally outside the system.