[ExI] effect/affect again.

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Mon Jan 4 21:27:14 UTC 2010

On Jan 4, 2010,  Damien Broderick wrote:

>> So consciousness effects behavior
> I know you get some weird pleasure out of butchering the language with this word, John,

I don't believe I've ever used the word "affect" in my life, I have mentioned it a few times in the past but only when somebody (it may even have been you) accused me of using "effect" too much; but I've always had a fondness for cause and effect and I figure if effect is good enough for cause it's good enough for me. And besides, this entire debate is between those who think the human will is fundamentally different from other kinds of events and those like me who disagree. I think "affectation" still has a place in the English language but "affect" should die and join other extinct words in that great dictionary in the sky, words like "methinks","cozen","fardel", "huggermugger", "zounds" and "typewriter".    

> but I don't think *anyone* would make the universal claim that consciousness effects behavior.

I'm someone and I think consciousness effects behavior, if it didn't we wouldn't have it; at least that's what I think and Darwin agrees with me. As I said before, saying I scratched my nose because I wanted to is a perfectly valid thing to say, as is saying that the balloon expanded because the pressure inside it increased; I do however insist that there is more than one way to correctly describe both of those events.

> Presumably you meant to write "affects behavior"

You presume incorrectly, I meant to say "effects behavior" and that is exactly what I said.

> consciousness has *some* influence on behavior, but not all.

If A effects B there is no reason C,D,E and F couldn't effect B too. In fact logically it could be that nothing effects B at all but B changes anyway.

 John K Clark

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