Identity theory, in philosophy, one view of modern Materialism that asserts that mind and matter, however capable of being logically distinguished, are in. The identity theory of mind holds that the intimate connection is identity: the mind is the brain, or, more precisely, mental states are states of the brain. The theory. Identity Theory. Identity theory is a family of views on the relationship between mind and body. Type Identity theories hold that at least some types (or kinds, or classes) of mental states are, as a matter of contingent fact, literally identical with some types (or kinds, or classes) of brain states.‎Early Versions of the Theory · ‎Type vs. Token Identity · ‎Multiple Realizability.


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The article concludes with a discussion of the uncanniness of this re-emergent form of commodity fetishism. Functionalism borrows from the world of computers and information processing, saying that mental states exist as what they do or, in other words, they are identity theory of mind to their functions.

There are differing opinions about how functionalism relates to mind-brain identity theory.

Identity theory | philosophy |

How could states that seem so different turn out to be one and the same? Would neurophysiologists actually see my thoughts and feelings if they looked at identity theory of mind brain?

It has been claimed, for example, that because people have had and still do have knowledge of specific mental states while remaining ignorant as to the physical states with which they are correlated, the former could not possibly be identical with the latter.

The obvious response to this type of objection is to call attention to the contingent nature of the proposed identities—of course we have different conceptions of mental states and their correlated identity theory of mind states, or no conception of the latter at all, but that is just because as Feigl made perfectly clear the language we use to describe them have different meanings.

Mind, identity theory of - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The contingency of mind-brain identity relations also serves to answer the objection that since presently accepted correlations may very well be empirically invalidated in the future, mental identity theory of mind and brain states should not be viewed as identical. A more serious objection to Mind-Brain Type Identity, one that to this day has not been satisfactorily resolved, concerns various non-intensional properties of mental states on the one handand physical states on the other.


After-images, for example, may be green or purple in color, but nobody could reasonably identity theory of mind that states of the brain are green or purple.

And conversely, while brain states may be spatially located with a fair degree of accuracy, it has traditionally been assumed that mental states are non-spatial. The problem generated by examples such as these is identity theory of mind they appear to constitute violations of Leibniz's Law, which states that if A is identical with B, then A and B must be indiscernible in the sense of having in common all of their non-intensional properties.

We have already seen how Place chose to respond to this type of objection, at least insofar as it concerns conscious experiences—that is, by invoking the so-called "phenomenological fallacy.

Lastly, Smart claimed that if his hypothesis about sensations being brain processes turns out to be correct, "we may easily adopt a convention As for apparent discrepancies going in the other direction e.

Type physicalism - Wikipedia

The last traditional objection we shall look at concerns the phenomenon of "first-person authority"; that is, the apparent incorrigibility of introspective reports of thoughts and sensations.

If I report the occurrence of a pain in my leg, then the story goes I must have a pain in my leg. Since the same cannot be said for reports of brain processes, which are always open to question, it might look like we have here another violation of Leibniz's Law. But the real import of this identity theory of mind concerns the purported correlations between mental states and brain states.

What are we to make of cases in which the report of a brain scientist contradicts the introspective report, say, of someone claiming to be in pain? He characterizes this fallacy Place identity theory of mind Of course, as Smart recognised, this leaves the identity theory dependent on a physicalist account of colour.

His early account of colour was too behaviourist, and could not deal, for example, with the reversed spectrum problem, but he later gave a realist and objectivist account Smart Armstrong had been realist about colour but Smart worried that if so colour would be a very idiosyncratic and disjunctive concept, of no cosmic importance, of no interest to extraterrestrials for instance who had different visual systems.

Prompted identity theory of mind Lewis in conversation Smart came to realize that this was no objection to colours being objective properties. One first gives the notion of a normal human percipient with respect to colour for which there are objective tests in terms of ability to make discriminations with respect to colour.

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