" Life may be something not only ultra-terrestrial, but even immaterial, something outside our present categories of matter and energy; as real as they are, but different, and utilizing them for its own purpose " (Life and Matter, p. 198), The theory of psychophysical parallelism recognizes that while there is a correspondence between mental and material phenomena, changes in the mind and changes in the brain, the former cannot be explained by the latter, as the transition from the one to the other is unthinkable.
At the same time Fechner would not have us suppose that the two sides are equal; according to him, the psychical, being the psychophysical as viewed from within, is real, the physical, being the psychophysical viewed from without, is apparent; so in oneself, though nervous process and psychical process are the same, it is the psychical which is the reality of which the nervous is mere appearance; and so everywhere, spirit is the reality, body the appearance of spirit to spirit.
He went, however, considerably beyond Fechner in attempting to give an epistemological account of our knowledge of the psychophysical.
On the fundamental question, however, of the psychophysical connexion and the derivation of mind from matter, his utterances are neither clear nor consistent.
Huxley (Science and Culture) and Shadworth Hodgson (Metaphysic of Experience and Theory of Practice), must be distinguished from that of the psychophysical parallelism, or the "double aspect theory" according to which both the mental state and the physical phenomena result from a so-called "mind stuff," or single substance, the material or cause of both.
Accordingly, he calls these and all other processes " psychophysical "; and as he recognized two parallel energies, physical and psychical, differing only as outer and inner aspects of the same energy, he called this " psychophysical energy."
In such a philosophy all reality is " psychophysical."
The " day-view " (Fechner's) is the view that God is the psychophysical all-embracing being, the law and consciousness of the world.
Nevertheless, largely under the influence of the exaggeration of the conservation of energy, many psychologists - Wundt, Paulsen, Riehl, Jodl, Ebbinghaus, Miinsterberg, and in England Lewes, Clifford, Romanes, Stout - have accepted Fechner's psychophysical parallelism, as far at least as men and animals are concerned.
Most stop here, but some go with Fechner to the full length of his metaphysical parallelism of the physical and psychical, as psychophysical, throughout the whole world.
He agrees with Fechner that physical process of nerve and psychical process of mind are really the same psychophysical process as appearing on the one hand to an observer and on the other hand to one's own consciousness; and that physical phenomena only produce physical phenomena, so that those materialists and realists are wrong who say that physical stimuli produce sensations.
He accepts psychophysical parallelism in the sense that every psychical process has a physical accompaniment, every physiological function has a psychical meaning, but neither external stimulus nor physiological stimulus is cause of a psychical process, nor vice versa.
Clifford (q.v.) was working out the hypothesis of psychophysical parallelism to a conclusion different from that of Lewes, and more allied to that of Leibnitz, the prime originator of all these hypotheses.
This hypothesis Clifford connected with the hypothesis of psychophysical parallelism.
He disagrees with Fechner's hypothesis of a world-soul, the highest spirit, God, who embraces all psychophysical processes.
The theory of psychophysical parallelism involves no doubt in the minds of the majority of its upholders the further assumption of some unity underlying both the physical and psychical series which may one day be discovered to be susceptible of scientific expression and interpretation.
But more convincing than most of the philosophical arguments by which the theories of psychophysical parallelism have been assailed is the fact that it runs counter to the plain evidence of the ordinary consciousness.
Hobbes's psychology is in the first place materialistic; he holds, that is, that in any of the psychophysical phenomena of human nature the reality is a material process of which the mental feeling is a mere " appearance."
The results, combined with recent psychophysical evidence, suggest that differences in pulse rate are unlikely to prove useful for concurrent sound segregation.
Materialism argues that, as life depends on a material organism, thought is a function of the brain, and the soul is but the sum of mental states, to which, according to the theory of psychophysical parallelism, physical changes always correspond; therefore, the dissolution of the body carries with it necessarily the cessation of consciousness.
The theory of psychophysical parallelism has been subjected to a rigorous examination in James Ward's Naturalism and Agnosticism, part iii., in which the argument that mind cannot be derived from matter is convincingly presented.
Fechner (1801-1887) affords a conspicuous instance of the idealistic tendency to mysterize nature in his Panpsychism, or that form of noumenal idealism which holds that the universe is a vast communion of spirits, souls of men, of animals, of plants, of earth and other planets, of the sun, all embraced as different members in the soul of the world, the highest spirit - God, in whom we live and move and have our being; that the bodily and the spiritual, or the physical and the psychical, are everywhere parallel processes which never meet to interact; but that the difference between them is only a difference between the outer and inner aspects of one identical psychophysical process; and yet that both sides are not equally real, because while psychical and physical are identical, the psychical is what a thing really is as seen from within, the physical is what it appears to be to a spectator outside; or spirit is the self-appearance of matter, matter the appearance of one spirit to another.
In order to establish this paradox of " critical monism," he accepts to a certain extent the psychophysical philosophy of Fechner.
Though no noumenalist, in many details he is with noumenalists; with Fechner in psychophysics, in psychophysical parallelism, in the independence of the physical and the psychical chains of causality, in reducing physical and psychical to a difference of aspects, in substituting impulse for accident in organic evolution, and in wishing to recognize a gradation of individual spiritual beings; with Schopenhauer and Hartmann in voluntarism; and even with Schelling and Hegel in their endeavour, albeit on an artificial method, to bring experience under notions, and to unite subject and object in one concrete reality.
Psychophysical Parallelism >>
It is true, also, that on its idealistic side the philosophy of Leibnitz is the source of many current views of panpsychism, of psychophysical parallelism as well as of the.
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