Manzotti, R. (2021) The boundaries and location of consciousness as identity theories deem fit. Rivista Internazionale di Filosofica e Psicologia, 12(3), 225-241. doi:10.4453/rifp.2021.0022
[Abstract]In this paper I approach the problem of the boundaries and location of consciousness in a strictly physicalist way. I start with the debate on extended cognition, pointing to two unresolved issues: the ontological status of cognition and the fallacy of the center. I then propose using identity to single out the physical basis of consciousness. As a tentative solution, I consider Mind-Object Identity (MOI) and compare it with other identity theories of mind.
[Citing Place (1956)]  
Citing Place (1956) in context (citations start with an asterisk *):
Section 5 A comparison between identity theories
* [...] the classic mind-brain identity theories. The key hypothesis is that conscious processes are identical with neural processes occurring in the CNS. Fn 63: Cfr. U.T. PLACE, Is consciousness a brain process?; H. FEIGL, The mental and the physical; J.J.C. SMART, Sensations and brain processes; D.M. ARMSTRONG, A materialist theory of mind. While these theorists put forward a respectable empirical hypothesis, they fell short of proving it because the properties of the neural processes and the properties of experience do not match. Imposing identity on the two sets of properties is too much of a stretch. Yet, this group failed on empirical grounds – not because of any conceptual flaw, but for lack of empirical evidence. Had the properties of neural processes [been] different, the mind-brain identity would have been right. Of course, different proponents of classic identity put forward approaches with considerable differences, most notably regarding whether the identity thesis is only an empirical hypothesis or a metaphysical claim. For Place the mind-brain identity theory is an empirical hypothesis to be defended by broadly empirical and inductive arguments. In contrast, Smart shifts the debate to metaphysical grounds and maintains that dualism and mind-brain identity theory do not make distinctive claims about the data. Here, for the sake of the present discussion, I will stick to Place’s original empirical interpretation of identity. It is my contention that one of the main causes of the disregard in which the identity theory has fallen is the metaphysical/analytical drift that betrayed Place’s original straightforward proposal.