1 publications that cite Place (1989d). Thirty five years on - is consciousness still a brain process?

Potrč, M. (1995). U. T. Place. The British founder of physicalism: from behaviorism to connectionism. In Jaakko Hintikka & Klaus Puhl (Eds.), The British tradition in 20th century philosophy. Proceedings of the 17th International Wittgenstein-Symposium, 14th to 21th August 1994, Kirchberg am Wechsel (Schriftenreihe der Wittgenstein-Gesellscha
[Abstract]Dualism recognized the existence of inner mental processes and states, but without any material or physical foundation. Behaviourism, on the contrary, even if it did not deny their existence, refused to attribute any explanatory role to inner states and processes. In the British Journal of Psychology, in 1956, Place published a paper Is Consciousness a Brain Process?, There, he advocated a form of physicalism which steers a middle course between dualism and behaviourism. Mental processes were considered to be literally inside the body and identical with material/physical processes in the brain. It is well known that dualism was seriously undermined by this theory. But it is less well known that Place held his theory to be compatible with behaviourism. He draws a distinction between mental processes which he thinks are processes in the brain and mental states which he thinks, following Ryle (1949), are dispositions to talk and behave in a variety of broadly specifiable ways. The identity theory as applied to mental processes is seen as complementing rather than replacing Ryle's behaviourism. The exclusion of mental states allows Place to avoid the difficulties which confront the attempt to extend type identity theory to cover propositional attitudes, and which have led many to adopt the token identity version. Unlike token identity physicalism which regards any attempt to establish psycho-physical correlations as futile, Place's version of type identity theory predicts such correlations across individuals in the case of mental processes and within individuals in the case of mental states. This, combined with an emphasis which comes from his background in behaviourist psychology on learning as the primary source of mental/behavioural dispositions, makes it easy for Place (1991) to embrace connectionism which he regards as entirely compatible with behaviourism. He does not emphasize the compatibility between type identity theory and connectionism, probably because this point is obvious to him. There is no analogous way of establishing links with brain science in the case of token identity theory.
[Citing Place (1956)]  [Citing Place (1989d)]  [Citing Place (1994a)]  
Download: Potrc (1995) U T Place - The British Founder of Physicalism - from Behaviorism to Connectionism.pdf