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Epiphenomenalism is a kind of DualIsm according to which physical events have mental effects, but mental events have no physical effects. In other words, the causal interaction goes only one way, from physical to mental. So if Pierre eats a candy bar and experience pleasure, that pleasure is caused by his eating the candy bar; but if he decides to get another candy bar, his decision does not cause his body to get another candy bar. So mental events are just side-effects, or by-products, of physical processes in my nervous system. (The word EpiPhenomenon means, roughly, "by-product." That is why the view is called "epiphenomenalism"; it is the view that the mental is just a by-product of the physical.)
EpiPhenomenon has more than one meaning, outside of philosophy. RoseParks

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Last edited February 12, 2001 2:09 am by RoseParks (diff)