sng magazine


Mind-Brain Identity Theory


There are many theories in the world of the mind which seek to better explore and understand the inner workings of the mind as well as the thoughts that people have. The concept of an identity or understanding an individual outside of the traditional setting of one who was identified by their last name or their family affiliation is something that was brought about during the 1950’s and the 1960’s. With this rise in an interest for identity came the realization that identity theories had already in part been cultivated and explored to some degree. The mind brain identity theory is a physicalist Theory which asserts that departmental events can be grouped into different types and that these types can be correlated with physical events that take place inside the brain.

This argues that mental events are very much likely to have a biological correlation. Idea was developed thoroughly in the 1950s and 1960s but it was something that was discovered as early as the 1930s. However at the time it remained excepted by the masses. This idea was not get accepted by the public because philosophers had not yet taken an interest in identity or any questions pertaining to identity. Until these questions were asked the idea of the mind brain identity theory could not be accepted by the masses. However this work was revitalized as interest in understanding identity began to grow. Soon the ideas were tolerated by the general public and the concept of logical behaviorism emerged.

This concept has received many objections from the multiple realizability standpoints. This thesis asserts that a mental state can be realized within many systems and not just the brain. Identity theory identifies each of the mental events with a particular state in the brain but it does not allow for mental states to be realized in an organism that lacks a brain or any computational system that lacks a brain. So the counter argument to this concept is that identity theory is far too narrow because it does not take into account an organism without a brain or a computational system without a brain. The response to this is that true mental events cannot be experienced by those who do not have a brain. Therefore the theory is not one which is severely limited but in fact is one which can only be applied in that limited sphere.