Philosophical Studies 109 (2):143-70 (2002)

Tom Polger
University of Cincinnati
Multiple realizability has recently attractedrenewed attention, for example Bickle, 1998;Bechtel and Mundale, 1999; Bechtel and McCauley,1999; Heil, 1999; and Sober, 1999. Many of thesewriters revisit the topic of multiplerealizability in order to show that someversion of a mind-brain identity theory isviable. Although there is much of value inthese recent explorations, they do not addressthe underlying intuitions that have vexedphilosophers of mind since Hilary Putnamintroduced the concern (1967). I argue that thestandard way of construing multiplerealizability is a much stronger claim thanthat of Putnam's intuition alone. I distinguishfour interpretations of the multiplerealizability intuition. Some commonformulations of multiple realizability arealmost certainly true, while others are not atall plausible. I argue that the plausible formsof multiple realizability do not impugn theprospects for a mind-brain Identity Theory.
Keywords Identity  Intuition  Metaphysics  Mind  Multiple  Realizability  Putnam, H
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DOI 10.1023/A:1016236415052
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References found in this work BETA

What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.

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Citations of this work BETA

Realization and the Metaphysics of Mind.Thomas W. Polger - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):233 – 259.
How to Test for Multiple Realization.Lawrence A. Shapiro - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):514-525.
Are Sensations Still Brain Processes.Thomas W. Polger - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (1):1-21.
Two Confusions Concerning Multiple Realization.Thomas W. Polger - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):537-547.

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