David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Carl Gillett & Barry M. Loewer (eds.), Physicalism and its Discontents. Cambridge University Press. 307--318 (2001)
In the first post World War II identity theories (e.g., Place 1956, Smart 1962), mind brain identities were held to be contingent. However, in work beginning in the late 1960's, Saul Kripke (1971, 1980) convinced the philosophical community that true identity statements involving names and natural kind terms are necessarily true and furthermore, that many such necessary identities can only be known a posteriori. Kripke also offered an explanation of the a posteriori nature of ordinary theoretical identities such as that water = H2O. We identify the kinds and substances involved in theoretical identities by certain of their contingent properties. What we discover when we discover a theoretical identity is the underlying nature of the kind that we identify by those contingent properties. Now, of course, it was being a posteriori, not being contingent, that mattered to the identity theorists anyway, so the necessity of identity is not, in itself, damaging to mind brain identity theories. However, Kripke also argued persuasively that the alleged mind brain identities could not be treated in the same way as ordinary theoretical identities. We "identify" pain by feeling it, and surely how it feels is an essential property of pain, not a contingent property. Thus, a mind body identity theory must provide a different explanation of why its identities are a posteriori. A new wave of materialists has appeared on the scene with a new strategy for explaining  the a posteriori nature of its alleged identities. The strategy is to locate the explanation for the a posteriori nature of mind body identities, not on the side of the world, but on the side of the mind -in different ways of thinking about or imagining, or in different concepts. Thus, on this new view, there is only one property—this brain process type, which is identical with this pain..
|Keywords||Materialism Loar, B|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Pär Sundström (2011). Phenomenal Concepts. Philosophy Compass 6 (4):267-281.
Erhan Demircioglu (2013). Physicalism and Phenomenal Concepts. Philosophical Studies 165 (1):257-277.
Stephen Biggs (2011). Abduction and Modality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):283-326.
Janice Dowell (2006). Formulating the Thesis of Physicalism: An Introduction. Philosophical Studies 131 (1):1-23.
Janet Levin (2008). Taking Type-B Materialism Seriously. Mind and Language 23 (4):402-425.
Similar books and articles
Dale Jacquette (1987). Kripke and the Mind-Body Problem. Dialectica 41 (4):293-300.
Nigel Leary (2007). Natural Kinds: (Thick) Essentialism or Promiscuous Realism? Philosophical Writings 34:5 - 13.
David Barnett (2002). Against a Posteriori Moral Naturalism. Philosophical Studies 107 (3):239 - 257.
István Aranyosi (2003). Physical Constituents of Qualia. Philosophical Studies 116 (2):103-131.
Chang Seong Hong (1998). Natural Kinds and the Identity of Property. Teorema 17 (1):89-98.
Clive Vernon Borst (1970). The Mind-Brain Identity Theory: A Collection of Papers. New York,St Martin's P..
Irwin Goldstein (2004). Neural Materialism, Pain's Badness, and a Posteriori Identities. In Maite Ezcurdia, Robert Stainton & Christopher Viger (eds.), New Essays in the Philosophy of Language and Mind. University of Calgary Press. 261-273.
Don A. Merrell (2006). Theoretical Identity, Reference Fixing, and Boyd's Defense of Type Materialism. Philosophia 34 (2):169-172.
David Barnett (2000). Is Water Necessarily Identical to H2O? Philosophical Studies 98 (1):99-112.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads57 ( #27,065 of 1,101,181 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #290,806 of 1,101,181 )
How can I increase my downloads?