Re: more, briefly

Glenn Morton (
Mon, 13 Apr 1998 19:13:27 -0500

At 10:45 AM 4/11/98 -0400, wrote:

>For a more intuitive definition, epiphenomenon simply means "emergent
>property". The simplest example of emergent property I can think of is
>the junction of oxyne and hydrogen to yield water. While there is
>nothing magical or non-physical about it, the properties of water are in
>no way reducible to the sum of the properties of hydrogen and oxygen,
>since what makes water what it is is the *interaction* between the two.

So you will know some of my background, I am familiar with nonlinear
dynamics and chaos theory. I think the difficulty of saying that something
is an epiphenomenon is that it really doesn't explain the item
underdiscussion but names it or classifies it. Given that, I view the term
epiphenomenon when applied to human intellect as a sort of crypto-vitalism.
If intellect is something that emerges from the union of various parts but
is in no way reducible to those parts, isn't that the definition of the
soul? What is the difference between saying that mind is an epiphenomenon
of the body and mind is the sould of the body?


Adam, Apes, and Anthropology: Finding the Soul of Fossil Man


Foundation, Fall and Flood