On multiple realization

There’s no overestimating the significance of the multiple realization thesis in the past fifty years of theorizing about the mind’s relationship to the brain. The idea behind the thesis is simple
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There’s no overestimating the significance of the multiple realization thesis in the past fifty years of theorizing about the mind’s relationship to the brain. The idea behind the thesis is simple enough, and most easily explained in terms of a comparison. Suppose you thought that the relationship between the mind and the brain is like that between water and H2O. This latter relationship involves an identity. To say that water is H2O is to claim that the kind water just is the kind H2O. Where there’s one, there’s the other; the words ‘water’ and ‘H2O’ are just different ways of referring to the same thing. Similarly, you might suppose, where there are minds there are brains, and the words ‘mind’ and ‘brain’ are just two different ways of talking about the same thing. It’s the idea that minds are brains that the multiple realization thesis is meant to challenge. However, unlike the dualist, who denies mind-brain identity on the grounds that minds are a sui generis kind of spooky. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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