from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A secondary phenomenon that results from and accompanies another: "Exploitation of one social class or ethnic group by another [is] an epiphenomenon of real differences in power between social groups” ( Harper's).
  • n. Pathology An additional condition or symptom in the course of a disease, not necessarily connected with the disease.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A symptom that develops during the course of a disease that is not connected to the disease.
  • n. A mental state or process that is an incidental byproduct of physiological events in the brain or nervous system.
  • n. Any state, process, or other activity that is the result of another.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In pathology, a symptom or complication arising during the course of a malady.
  • n. A phenomenon which is secondary to another or others; a phenomenon which is a sort of by-product in no wise affecting other phenomena.
  • n. Specifically In psychol. theory, a collateral product of a given set of conditions; a phenomenon which accompanies the effect of a given cause, but which itself has no place in the chain of cause and effect.
  • n. In neurology, a supererogatory phenomenon; something added after the plan of the work is complete.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a secondary phenomenon that is a by-product of another phenomenon


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

epi- +‎ phenomenon


  • Global equilibrium and order at each level of a CAS emerges as what systems theorists call an "epiphenomenon" -- organization that is not predictable from knowing only the rules of the next lower level.

    Analog Science Fiction and Fact

  • This is closely related to the epiphenominalism theory of mind that it is an evolutionary accident emerging from the increasing complexity of brains as an "epiphenomenon" or side effect of neural complexity.

    Coordinated Evolution

  • If consciousness were a mere "epiphenomenon," having no "use" to the organism, it would soon perish (if it ever appeared) according to the law which says that all useless functions perish.

    The Problems of Psychical Research Experiments and Theories in the Realm of the Supernormal

  • The term "epiphenomenon" has been adopted to express the distinctness but entire dependence of the mind.

    The Approach to Philosophy

  • Therefore he reasoned that "epiphenomenon" had been built up to accommodate some modern theory of thought, some new leprosy of the mind never dreamed of by the noble lexicographer.

    The Jessica Letters: An Editor's Romance

  • Spirituality is often presumed to be an epiphenomenon or side effect of the brain and our need for hope, even if the hope is delusional.

    The Sacred Promise

  • The current market fizzle is an epiphenomenon this time around.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Collapse

  • This was to take the angry-idiot shouting of TV, which is epiphenomenon, and make it phenomenon.

    S&P Introduces the Edsel

  • Subjective experience, especially spiritual, was presumed at that time to be an epiphenomenon—a secondary phenomenon of little importance.

    The Sacred Promise

  • The (wish I were making this up) hookers and blow parties with MMS officials and captains of industry that went on during the Bush years are just an epiphenomenon of an utter failure to regulate problems that government * must* have a hand in preventing/solving if we are to not be puerile about oil.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Prosecuting BP


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