Skokowski, P. (2022). Sensing Qualia. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 16. doi:10.3389/fnsys.2022.795405
[Abstract]Accounting for qualia in the natural world is a difficult business, and it is worth understanding why. A close examination of several theories of mind — Behaviorism, Identity Theory, Functionalism, and Integrated Information Theory — will be discussed, revealing shortcomings for these theories in explaining the contents of conscious experience: qualia. It will be argued that in order to overcome the main difficulty of these theories the senses should be interpreted as physical detectors. A new theory, Grounded Functionalism, will be proposed, which retains multiple realizability while allowing for a scientifically based approach toward accounting for qualia in the natural world.
[Citing Place (1956)]  
Citing Place (1956) in context (citations start with an asterisk *):
* Some historical context might be helpful here. When the first identity theorist U.T. Place wrote his seminal paper Is Consciousness a Brain Process? in 1956, there were no neurobiology departments yet existing in the world. It would be another eight years until UC Irvine opened the first in 1964. Also, Behaviorism dominated psychology departments in the U.S., and philosophical theories of the mind were governed by the tenets of Logical Empiricism, Oxford Philosophy, and Later Wittgenstein — all of which contained elements of, or were influenced by, behaviorism.
* It was in this all-encompassing and domineering environment [of Behaviorism] that the originators of the identity theory had the temerity to propose that mental events were not external behaviors, but were instead internal brain states. Place’s original (Place, 1956) paper was followed shortly after by Herbert Feigl’s The Mental and the Physical (Feigl, 1958), and by J.J.C. Smart’s Sensations and Brain Processes (Smart, 1959). Though groundbreaking, the papers themselves can be very difficult for a modern reader to understand on first inspection. There is a reason for this. Place and Smart were themselves products of the Logical Empiricism movement, both did their graduate work at Oxford under Gilbert Ryle, and both began their careers as behaviorists (Smart, 2000). Feigl was a member of the Vienna Circle, and later led the movement to re-invent logical positivism as logical empiricism. The language that they couched their papers in was still the language of logical empiricism, and they addressed issues that seem arcane to us now — issues such as whether terms like “consciousness” have the same meanings as terms like “brain process,” and whether logical translations are even possible between statements containing them.