Synthese 66 (March):505-14 (1986)
AbstractIn a recent article, Grover Maxwell presents a case for a kind of mind-brain identity theory which he claims precludes materialism. His case is based on some views about meaning which I find plausible. However, I will argue that, by adopting certain assumptions about the nature of sensory experience, and extending some of Maxwell's views about meaning in a plausible way, the issue of a materialistic identity theory is reopened. Ultimately, I will agree that such a theory is not true, but more is needed to show this than Maxwell gives us. But the question of materialism is not thereby closed, because it has become axiomatic these days that materialism does not require an identity theory. So I will go on to consider if all forms of materialism have been ruled out by Maxwell's theory, as extended by me. I will end with a tentative affirmative answer but also with a proposal which, if it can be worked out, would reverse the decision
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