Putnam's intuition

Philosophical Studies 109 (2):143 - 170 (2002)
Multiple realizability has recently attracted renewed attention, for example Bickle, 1998; Bechtel and Mundale, 1999; Bechtel and McCauley, 1999; Heil, 1999; and Sober, 1999. Many of these writers revisit the topic of multiple realizability in order to show that some version of a mind-brain identity theory is viable. Although there is much of value in these recent explorations, they do not address the underlying intuitions that have vexed philosophers of mind since Hilary Putnam introduced the concern (1967). I argue that the standard way of construing multiple realizability is a much stronger claim than that of Putnam's intuition alone. I distinguish four interpretations of the multiple realizability intuition. Some common formulations of multiple realizability are almost certainly true, while others are not at all plausible. I argue that the plausible forms of multiple realizability do not impugn the prospects for a mind-brain Identity Theory
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy of Mind   Philosophy of Religion
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DOI 10.2307/4321270
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Thomas W. Polger (2009). Identity Theories. Philosophy Compass 4 (5):822-834.

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