Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Identity (Philosophy of Mind)

  • Gregory Peterson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_200177

In philosophy of mind, a major issue is the relation of mind and brain, with early theories suggesting that mind and brain are identical. This early identity theory quickly encountered criticism, as every brain is slightly different, and human brains are different from animal brains. If having a pain or computing an addition operation is just a particular kind of brain event, then identity theory was committed to the view that it must be the exact same brain event in every individual. Identity theorists thus argued for what came to be called type-type identity, that is, for every type of mental event there is one and only one type of physical event. An approach to philosophy of mind known as philosophical functionalism came to reject this thesis, arguing instead for token-token identity, which denies that it is necessarily the case that for each type of mental event there is one and only one type of physical event, arguing instead that for any individual mental event (a mental...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionSouth Dakota State UniversityBrookingsUSA