Opie, J. (2011). Consciousness. In Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis (Eds.), A companion to philosophy in Australia & New Zealand. Melbourne VIC 3004, Australia. philarchive.org/archive/OPIC
Citing Place (1956) in context (citations start with an asterisk *):
* Ryle (1949) and Wittgenstein (1953) regarded the so called „mind-body problem‟ as the result of a misuse of ordinary language. [...]
It was in this climate that Ullin Place and Jack Smart, both working at the University of Adelaide, first proposed their pioneering idea that conscious states and processes are none other than states and processes of the brain: the so-called „identity theory‟.","In philosophy circles this was widely regarded as an outlandish proposal. One English philosopher is said to have reacted: “A touch of the sun, I suppose” (reported in Armstrong 1993: xiii). Place, who first proposed the theory, thought the dispositional analysis of mental concepts such as „believing‟ and „intending‟ was sound, but claimed that there is “an intractable residue of concepts clustering around the notions of consciousness, experience, sensation and mental imagery, where some kind of inner process story is unavoidable” (1956: 44). He emphasised that the identity theory is not an analysis of statements about sensations into statements about the brain, but a defeasible scientific hypothesis (ibid., p.45).
Smart, initially a skeptic (see his 2008), soon came to the theory‟s defence. Following Place, he compared the identity of sensations and brain processes to the relationship between lightning and electrical discharges.
* An important player in these early developments was Charlie Martin, who was at the University of Adelaide between 1954 and 1966. Although Martin did not publish a great deal at the time, his influence is frequently acknowledged by Place and Smart (see Place 1989 for an account of Martin‟s contribution to “Is Consciousness a Brain Process?”, and Martin 2007 for an overview of his distinctive approach to dispositions, emergence, and mind).
* Both Armstrong and Medlin argued that the states which play these roles in us are states of the brain. Their account, known as „central-state materialism‟ (Feigl 1967), differs from the Place/Smart theory in that it identifies all mental states, not just conscious ones, with brain states.
Citing Place (1989a) in context (citations start with an asterisk *):
see citation of Place (1956)