An Argument for the Identity Theory

David Lewis

in Philosophical Papers Volume I

Published in print August 1983 | ISBN: 9780195032048
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833382 | DOI:
An Argument for the Identity Theory

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Lewis offers a functionalist argument for the type‐type psychophysical identity theory, according to which, as a matter of fact, mental experiences are type‐identical with certain neuro‐chemical brain states. Lewis summarizes his argument as follows: “The definitive characteristic of any (sort of) experience as such is its causal role, its syndrome of most typical causes and effects. But we materialists believe causal roles which belong by analytic necessity to experiences belong in fact to certain physical states. Since those physical states possess the definitive characteristics of experience, they must be the experiences.”

Keywords: body; epiphenomenalism; experience; functionalism; identity theory; materialism; mind; mind‐body identity; psychophysical identity

Chapter.  4310 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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