Chapter

The Skeptical Argument Impugning Psychophysical Identity Statements: on its Significance and the Cost of its Philosophical Resources

LaPorte Joseph

in Rigid Designation and Theoretical Identities

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609208
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745027 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609208.003.0007
The Skeptical Argument Impugning Psychophysical Identity Statements: on its Significance and the Cost of its Philosophical Resources

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This chapter argues that the skeptical argument impugning psychophysical identities is significant if convincing and that the significant impact of the argument comes at little cost, in terms of controversial philosophical resources. The chapter begins by clarifying the conclusion of the skeptical argument: namely, that we cannot be warranted in accepting any specific psychophysical identity statement. The chapter then argues that the skeptical argument is significant for functionalists and multiple-realizability theorists, who often appeal to supervenience or token identity, even though the skeptical argument concerns type identity; and that anyway the argument can be redirected to address supervenience claims and assertions of token identity. The chapter accepts a cost that eliminative materialists are unwilling to pay and argues that in practice, analytic functionalists tend to embrace a form of eliminativism. The chapter does not commit to some claims associated with Chalmers, including two-dimensionalism, modal rationalism, and apriority.

Keywords: two-dimensionalism; Chalmers; apriority; eliminative materialism; multiple realizability; functionalism; warrant; supervenience; token identity; type identity

Chapter.  15522 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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