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- DescriptionIn Natural Minds Thomas Polger advocates, and defends, the philosophical theory that mind equals brain -- that sensations are brain processes -- and in doing so brings the mind-brain identity theory back into the philosophical debate about consciousness. The version of identity theory that Polger advocates holds that conscious processes, events, states, or properties are type- identical to biological processes, events, states, or properties -- a tough-minded account that maintains that minds are necessarily identical to brains, a position held by few current identity theorists. Polger's approach to what William James called the great blooming buzzing confusion of consciousness begins with the idea that we need to kw more about brains in order to understand consciousness fully, but recognizes that biology alone cant provide the entire explanation. Natural Minds takes on issues from philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and metaphysics, moving freely among them in its discussion. Polger begins by answering two major objections to identity theory -- Hilary Putnam's argument from multiple realizability (which discounts identity theory because creatures with brains unlike ours could also have mental states) and Saul Kripke's modal argument against mind-brain identity (based on the apparent contingency of the identity statement). He then offers a detailed account of functionalism and functional realization, which offer the most serious obstacle to consideration of identity theory. Polger argues that identity theory can itself satisfy the kind of explanatory demands that are often believed to favor functionalism.
- Author BiographyThomas W. Polger is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati.
- Author(s)Thomas W. Polger
- PublisherMIT Press Ltd
- Date of Publication17/02/2006
- SubjectPsychology: Textbooks & Study Guides
- Series TitleBradford Books
- Place of PublicationMassachusetts
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintBradford Books
- Content Note15 illus.
- Weight454 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine19 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
- Interest AgeFrom 18
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