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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL240H1
Professor
Lana Khule
Semester
Summer

Description
CUES NOTES – Identity Theory JCC Smart, Identity Theory came J.J.C. Smart – identity theory dates back to the 1950s from an ‘after-image’ - Afterimage – the experience of seeing something when it really isn’t there anymore - Smart says: “There is no ‘sensation’ or ‘experience’ that you’re having.” o He is not talking about causality - Experiences with brain processes o Again he is not talking about two states correlating o He also argues that the word ‘experience’ means the same thing as ‘brain process’ – not correct to say that we are using different words to mean the same thing - “In so far as ‘after-image’ or ‘ache’ is a report of a process, it is a report of a process that happens to be a brain process” o He is truly saying: An experience IS a brain process  IS = strict identity The mind is the brain – is = Qualitative Identity: two things are qualitatively identical if they share all the numerical identity same qualities/properties – the identity can fluctuate depending on where you want to draw the connection – ie. dogs vs. breed of dog Numerical Identity: stronger form of identity than qualitative identity. It require absolute, or total, qualitative identity, and can only hold between a thing and itself – the word ‘same’ is used to indicate two things located at the same time and space; therefore only talking about one thing - I am numerically identical with myself Strict Identity is Numerical Identity - When he says an experience IS a brain process, he is saying an experience and a brain process are one in the same thing – therefore we cannot talk about causality or correlation - **The nature of the mind will be scientifically described as the brain Motivation: Why you want to like Identity Theory Ockham’s Razor – “The principle that in explaining anything no more assumptions should be made than are necessary.” - Dualism is not the simplest way of explaining the interaction of our body/mind = mental/physical laws - One way out of the problem is to posit these mental/physical laws – however, they would be a brute an unexplainable relationships where mental processes ‘dangle’ from physical processes - nomological danglers - According to Smart – Dualism leads to Nomological Danglers - If we can explain a phenomenon with a simpler theory, we should not want to go with anything more complicated – we don’t want any nomological danglers - Dualism is an intelligible option but it is not the most appealing (Smart) Objection 1 – One can talk about Objection 1: I can know nothing about brain processes and still speak perfectly A without knowing an identical well about my mental states. Thus, the things I can talk about when I describe B exists my mental states cant be brain states Reply: “An illiterate peasant can talk about lightning though he knows nothing of electricity.” This doesn’t change the fact that lightning is electricity. Objection 4 – The thing I see is Objection 4: “The after-image is not in physical space. The brain process is. So the content and the experience is the after image is not a brain process.” the vehicle Reply: It’s not the after image that’s a brain process it’s the experience that is a brain process… The thing I see is the content and the perception or experience of that object is the vehicle. Objection 5 – The mind and the Objection 5: The ways we describe brain processes don’t carry over to the way brain don’t have the sa
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