psychophysical parallelism

psychophysical parallelism

noun Philosophy.
the view that mental and bodily events occur in parallel series without causal interaction.
Compare occasionalism.


Origin:
1890–95

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psychophysical parallelism

in the philosophy of mind, a theory that excludes all causal interaction between mind and body inasmuch as it seems inconceivable that two substances as radically different in nature could influence one another in any way. Mental and physical phenomena are seen as two series of perfectly correlated events; the usual analogy is that of two synchronized clocks that keep perfect time. Thus, for parallelism, the mental event of a man's wishing to raise his arm is followed immediately by the physical event of his arm being raised, yet there is no need to postulate any direct causal connection.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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