Place, U. T. (1997g). We needed the analytic-synthetic distinction to formulate mind-brain identity then: we still do [Conference presentation, presented at a Symposium on 'Forty years of Australian Materialism', June 21st 1997]. Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds.
Quine's (1951/1980) repudiation of the analytic-synthetic distinction undermines three principles fundamental to the view expounded in ‘Is consciousness a brain process?' (Place 1956): the idea that problems, such as that of the relation between mind and body, are partly conceptual confusions to be cleared away by philosophical analysis and partly genuine empirical questions to be investigated and answered decisively by the relevant empirical science, the distinction between the meaning of what the individual says when she describes her private experiences and the nature of the actual events she is describing as revealed by science, and the claim that, unless the connection is obscured by the different ways in which the two predicates come to be applied, co-extensive predicates become conceptually (intensionally) connected, and sentences asserting their identity become analytic. It is argued that, if the object is, as it should be, to assimilate this case to other cases of type-identity in science, rather than perpetuate the problem, these principles are still needed.
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