phil of mind paper#2

phil of mind paper#2 - Gable Parigian Phil 100D 2-26-08...

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Gable Parigian Phil 100D 2-26-08 Multiple Realizability The identity theory can best be understood through the classic identity theory called type physicalism. Type physicalism introduces the idea that mental properties are physical properties. It explains how any given mental property such as pain has to have a physical property such as c- fibers firing. And this physical property must be same for every instance of the mental property without any exceptions. For example, if a man named Mr. Jones is in the mental state of pain and in the physical state of having his c-fibers firing, another man maybe named Mr. Michaels can’t be in the mental state of pain while being in the physical state of having his a-fibers firing. This is because pain just is c-fibers firing and not any other thing such as a-fibers firing. Of course, this is on the assumption that pain really is c-fibers firing and not something else. But, if it is in fact c-fibers firing than there can be no other physical property that takes its place. Thus, type physicalism shows how mental states can be reduced to physical states. Or in other words there are no mental properties without physical properties. This would make it clear that everybody who is in pain has something other than that mental state of pain in common. They also have a neural physical property in common which is caused by c-fibers firing. Furthermore, to completely explain the identity theory I mustn’t forget to say that this theory is also claiming that this neural physiological property caused by the c-fibers firing is why people experience distress when they’re in pain. This is because the neural physiological property just is distress and so when a person is in pain they are distressed. Type physicalism and the identity theory go as far as to theorize that everything, not just humans that are in pain must have c-fibers firing. This is to say that reptiles in pain, snails in pain, or even aliens in pain have the physical property of c-fibers firing. But, it’s most likely true that reptiles and such don’t due to very different nervous systems. It’s very plausible that they
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could be in pain and not have c-fibers firing so; the identity theory is probably flawed. Hence,
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This essay was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 100d taught by Professor Rescorla during the Winter '08 term at UCSB.

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phil of mind paper#2 - Gable Parigian Phil 100D 2-26-08...

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