The Mind Brain Identity Theory

1689 WordsMay 13, 20167 Pages
In the article “The Nature of Mental States” Hillary Putnam presents a compelling argument that dealt a “considerable blow” to the Mind-Brain Identity Theory—a theory developed by J.C.C Smart—in which he [Putnam] stated “mental states are multiply realizable.” His argument is driven by functionalism. His functionalist account of mental states like pain differs from what is explained by the Mind-Brain Identity Theory. In turn, he also avoids the issue of multiple realizability, an issue that was proven to be problematic for the Identity Theory. This leads into John Searle 's argument against Strong Artificial Intelligence with his Chinese Room thought experiment in “Minds, Brains, and Programs”. Searle believed that mere functional competence was not sufficient for having a mind, placing functionalism into question. The Mind-Brain Identity Theory is a physicalistic theory, by J.C.C Smart, that states mental processes and states of the mind and the mental processes and states of the brain are one and the same. Emotions and sensations [mental states] are simply brain states and processes or neurological events. Hillary Putnam 's argument is where the theory of functionalism is introduced. This is the theory of the nature of mental states. This theory differs from the Mind-Brain Identity Theory, objecting its foundational claims. (I.1) According to functionalism, mental states are determined by what they do, rather than what they are made of. For example, a writing utensil is
Open Document