Publications of Place that refer to Geach (1957). Mental Acts.
Lecture 12: Mentalist explanations - Believing and wanting (23/1/1974). Section 3
The dispositional character and the intentionality of mentalist explanations. Mentalism as a scientific theory. The logical structure of mentalist explanations
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 12.pdf
Place, U. T. (1969b). Collected papers on brain, mind and consciousness [Doctoral thesis submitted 1969 for the degree of D.Litt, degree awarded in 1972]. University of Adelaide.
[References]  [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1969b Brain, Mind and Consciousness - Introduction DLitt Thesis.pdf [includes editorial changes by UTP]
Place, U. T. (1973-11-07). Lecture 6.1: Cosmology 3. Dispositions (7/11/1973) Section 1
Dispositional concepts and their explanatory functions
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 06.1 - revised version.pdf
Place, U. T. (1974-03-20). Lecture 20: Mental events, mental acts and imageless thoughts.(20/3/1974). Section 5
Mental events as the interface between a process and a state. Imageless thoughts. Our knowledge of our own mental events. The symbolic nature of thought
Download: Amsterdam lecture 20
Place, U. T. (1974-05-01). Lecture 23: Presumptive criteria of identity and Central State Materialism (1/5/1974). Section 6
Presumptive criteria of identity: spatio-temporal location, micro reductive explanation and the explanation of common observations. Central State Materialism
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 23.pdf
Place, U. T. (1978a). Psychological paradigms and behaviour modification. De Psycholoog, 13, 611-621.
The application of Kuhn's concept of "incommensurable paradigms" to the science of psychology is discussed. Two such paradigms, the behaviorist or behavior analytic paradigm and the cognitive/mentalist paradigm, are distinguished. It is suggested that the choice of paradigm will depend on the method of behavior modification to be employed. If behavior is to be modified by stimulus control and contingency management, a version of the behaviorist paradigm will be selected. If behavior is to be modified by changing the individual's self-directed verbal behavior, the mentalist/cognitive paradigm is to be preferred.
An earlier version of this paper was presented to a conference of the European Association for Behavioural Therapy at the Central Hotel, London Heathrow Airport in July 1974 and was in 1978 published in De Psycholoog, in English The Psychologist, a journal of the Dutch Society of Psychology. The present revision is from 1986.
[References]  [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1978a 1986 Psychological Paradigms and Behavior Modification - revised version.pdf
Place, U. T. (1981a). Skinner's Verbal Behavior I - why we need it. Behaviorism, 9, 1-24. www.jstor.org/stable/27758970
To explain behaviour in terms of intensional or mentalistic concepts is to explain the behaviour in question on the assumption of a consistent and rational connection between what the agent does and what he says or what is said to him and that therefore any general account of verbal or linguistic behaviour which employs such concepts is necessarily circular, since it explains the acquisition of linguistic skills on the assumption that the speaker already possesses such skills. It follows that this circularity can only be avoided by developing a theory of verbal or linguistic behaviour which is stated entirely in a nonintensional or extensional language. At the present time, the most developed conceptual system for description and explanation of the behaviour of organisms at the molar level in purely extensional terms is that provided by the so-called ‘Radical Behaviorism’ of B. F. Skinner and his followers. Furthermore, in his book Verbal Behavior Skinner (1957) has used this conceptual framework to develop a theory of verbal or linguistic behaviour which represents the most ambitious attempt made so far to formulate a theory of linguistic behaviour in nonintensional or extensional terms.
Revised version is from 1999.
[References]  [Is cited by]  [7 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1981a 1999 Skinner's Verbal Behavior I - Why We Need It - revised version.pdf
Place, U. T. (1987a). Skinner re-skinned. In S. Modgil, & C. Modgil (Eds.), B. F. Skinner, Consensus and Controversy (Part XI, Skinner and the 'Virtus dormitiva' argument, pp. 235-243). Falmer Press.
In 'Skinner Skinned' Dennett (1978, chapter 4) discusses two arguments, the virtus dormitiva and intentionality arguments, which he sees as the only solid ground underlying the various arguments which Skinner gives for repudiating the use of mentalistic explanations in a scientific psychology; and of these he endorses only the intentionality argument. I argue (a) that what Skinner finds objectionable in mentalistic idioms is their dispositional character, (b) that both the virtus dormitiva and intentionality argument are arguments against the use of dispositional property ascriptions in scientific explanation, and (c) that, since dispositional property ascriptions are essential to any causal explanation, Dennett has failed to provide any good reason for endorsing Skinner's repudiation of mentalism. It is suggested that mentalism is objectionable only insofar it involves the use of idioms which presuppose what Skinner (1969) calls 'rule-governed' behaviour to explain behaviour that is 'contingency-shaped'.
[References]  [Is cited by]  [1 referring publications by Place]  [Is replied by]
Download: 1987a Skinner Re-skinned.pdf
Place, U. T. (1987c). Causal laws, dispositional properties and causal explanations. Synthesis Philosophica, 2(3), 149-160.
The role in causal explanation of sentences ascribing dispositional properties to the entities involved is discussed in the light of (a) the counterfactual theory of causal necessity originally proposed by Hume (1777) and more recently by Mackie (1962; 1974), (b) Ryle's (1949) hypothetical analysis of dispositional statements. and (c) Goodman's (1965) observation that counterfactuals are "sustained", not only by causal law statements universally quantified over entities of a given kind, but by dispositional statements which are restricted in their scope to a single individual. It is argued that what is required in order to support a causal counterfactual is universal quantification over a period of time which may be as short as you like, provided (a) that it covers the moment when the event hypothesised in the counterfactual is assumed to have occurred and (b) that its restriction to that period can be rationally justified.
[References]  [6 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1987c Causal Laws, Dispositional Properties and Causal Explanations.pdf with corrections added after publication
Place, U. T. (1988e). The problem of mental content from the standpoint of linguistic empiricism [Presentation prepared for the Course on Functionalism and Content, Inter-university Post-graduate Centre, Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia (since 1991 Croatia), 7-15 September 1988] Inter-university Post-graduate Centre.
Download: 1988e The Problem of Mental Content from the Standpoint of Linguistic Empiricism .pdf
Place, U. T. (1989a). Low claim assertions. In J. Heil (Ed.), Cause, mind and meality: Essays honoring C. B. Martin (pp. 121-135). Kluwer. doi:10.1007/978-94-011-9734-2_9
Keywords: colours, mind-brain identity theory, introspection, phenomenological fallacy, topic neutrality
[References]  [Is cited by]  [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1989a Low claim assertions.pdf
Place, U. T. (1990e). Critical Notice [Unpublished book review of Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind Brain by Patricia Smith Churchland. MIT Press, l986].
Keywords: conceptual analysis, eliminative materialism, mind-brain identity theory, neurophilosophy
This critical notice was commissioned by the editor of the Quarterly Journal of Philosophy in 1986 when the book first appeared; but since it was not completed until four years later in 1990, it was never submitted. It was revised in 1999 in anticipation of a meeting with Pat Churchland in Siena, Italy, in October of that year - a meeting that because of the illness of Place never took place.
[References]  [Reviewed publication(s)]
Download: 1990e Critical Notice.pdf
Place, U. T. (1994d). Sharpness: an interesting exception to the rule that dispositional properties require explanation in terms of their owner's microstructure [Conference presentation, presented to the Twentieth Annual Conference on the Philosophy of Science at the Inter University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 12th April 1994]. Inter University Centre, Dubrovnik.
The most common form of distinctively scientific causal explanation is an explanation of the dispositional properties shared by instances of a universal or kind. Such explanations typically invoke the structural properties of the property-bearer. In the majority of cases and in all cases where a specifically scientific explanation is required, what are invoked are features of the microstructure of the property-bearer which are not accessible to ordinary observation at the level of common sense. An interesting exception is the case of the sharpness of a knife or needle. Sharpness is a property and a concept with a number of unusual features. Most property-concepts are either purely dispositional, as in the case of such things as the brittleness of glass, the flexibility of rubber or the magnetic properties of an iron bar, or they are structural properties, such as the external shape and internal arrangement of an object. Sharpness, by contrast, is a property with two aspects, a purely dispositional aspect, the property-bearer's propensity to cut or pierce, and a structural aspect, the fineness and hardness of its edge or point. However, the relation between these two aspects is a causal relation between "distinct existences", not a relation of identity. The dispositional property, aptness to cut or pierce, depends on and is explained by the structural properties, the fineness and hardness of the edge or point. In this it differs from most other dispositional properties. For in this case, the structural properties on which the dispositional property depends are features of the macrostructure rather than the microstructure of the property-bearer. They are thus available to common observation by the man- or woman-in-the-street in a way that the microstructural properties on which most dispositional properties depend are not. Hence the absorption of both cause and its effect into a single common-sense concept. Causal relations and the causal explanations which invoke them have two components: (a) a categorical component, some kind of contact or proximity between the causal agent and the causal patient, and (b) a dispositional component which provides the "cement" which, in the explanation, takes the form of a 'covering law' and governs the interaction between the two. In this respect, the causal relation whereby aptness to cut or pierce is generated by the structural properties of fineness and hardness of edge or point is no exception. Of the two structural properties which stand as cause to the dispositional property as effect, one, the fineness of the edge or point, is categorical; the other, its hardness, is dispositional. From a philosophical standpoint the 'sharpness' example raises two interesting questions: (1) In what sense does the effect, the aptness to cut or pierce, constitute a "distinct existence" from its causes, the fineness and hardness of the edge or point, as Hume's principle requires? (2) What light, if any, is thrown by this example on the problem of the source of the dispositional properties of an elementary particle which has no microstructure (the 'charm' of the quark)?
Download: 1994d Sharpness.pdf
Place, U. T. (1996g). Intentionality as the mark of the dispositional. Dialectica, 50, 91-120. doi:10.1111/j.1746-8361.1996.tb00001.x
Martin and Pfeifer (1986) have claimed "that the most typical characterizations of intentionality . . . all fail to distinguish . . . mental states from . . . dispositional physical states." The evidence they present in support of this thesis is examined in the light of the possibility that what it shows is that intentionality is the mark, not of the mental, but of the dispositional. Of the five marks of intentionality they discuss a critical examination shows that three of them, Brentano's (1874) inexistence of the intentional object, Searle's (1983) directedness and Anscombe's (1965) indeterminacy, are features which distinguish T-intenTional/dispositional states, both mental and non-mental (physical), from non-dispositional "categorical" states. The other two are either, as in the case of Chisholm's (1957) permissible falsity of a propositional attitude ascription, a feature of linguistic utterances too restricted in its scope to be of interest, or, as in the case of Frege's (1892) indirect reference/Quine's (1953) referential opacity, evidence that the S-intenSional locution is a quotation either of what someone has said in the past or might be expected to say, if the question were to arise at some time in the future.
[References]  [9 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1996g Intentionality as the Mark of the Dispositional.pdf
Place, U. T. (1996h). Mental causation is no different from any other kind. The British Psychological Society, History and Philosophy of Psychology Newsletter, 23, 15-20.
Mental causation, as the term is used here, is the relation between an individual's beliefs, desires and intentions on the one hand and the behaviour they motivate on the other. Until it was challenged by Donald Davidson (1963/1980), the accepted view amongst philosophers was that mental causation in this sense is not a causal relation ("reasons are not causes"). Now most subscribe to Davidson's view that it is a causal relation, but an anomalous one. I argue that it is a standard causal relationship which differs in no way from other non-mental cases of causation.
Download: 1996h Mental Causation is No Different from Any Other Kind.pdf this is a shortened version of the unpublished:  1996h Full version of Mental Causation is No Different from Any Other Kind.pdf
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.
Download: 1997g We Needed the Analytic-Synthetic Distinction to Formulate the Mind-Brain Identity Then We Still Do.pdf
Place, U. T. (1999a). Ryle's behaviorism. In W. O'Donohue, & R. Kitchener (Eds.), Handbook of Behaviorism (Chapter 13, pp. 361-398). Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-012524190-8/50014-0
A distinction is drawn between the OR-behaviorism of the Americans which wants to make psychology more scientific and the OUR-behaviourism of Wittgenstein and Ryle which comes from the philosophy of language. Ryle's doctrines are classified into those that derive from Wittgenstein and those that are peculiar to Ryle. The latter are sub-classified into failures and successes. Criticisms of Ryle's position by Place, Geach, Medlin, Armstrong and Martin are examined and, where possible, rebutted. I conclude that, with some important exceptions, the dispositional analysis of mental concepts survives, as does, more controversially, the hypothetical analysis of dispositional statements.
[References]  [Is cited by]  [4 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1999a Ryle's Behaviorism.pdf
Place, U. T. (1999d). Connectionism and the problem of consciousness. Acta Analytica, 14(22), 197-226.
This paper falls into three parts. In Part 1 I give my reasons for rejecting two aspects of Horgan and Tienson's position as laid out in their book, the language of thought and belief-desire explanations of behaviour, while endorsing the connection they see between linguistic syntax and the syntax of a motor skill. In Part 2 I outline the theory that the brain consists of two input-output transformation systems consciousness whose function is (a) to categorise problematic inputs, (b) to select a response appropriate to such inputs once they have been categorised and (c) to initiate and monitor the execution of such response once selected, and the "zombie-within" whose function is (a) to identify and alert consciousness to any inputs that are problematic either because they are unexpected or because they are significant relative to the agent's current or perennial motivational concerns. In Part 3 I consider how far the properties of the two systems outlined in Part 2 can be understood in terms of the known properties of connectionist networks.
Keywords: connectionism, consciousness, problematic input, zombie-within
The download file contains some text added by the author after publication. Footnote 2 is added.
[References]  [1 referring publications by Place]
Download: 1999d Connectionism and the Problem of Consciousness.pdf
Place, U. T. (1999e). Token- versus type-identity physicalism. Anthropology and Philosophy, 3(2), 21-31.
The observation that identity is a relation between two names or descriptions which refer to the same individual (token-identity) or the same kind or class of things (type-identity) suggests that, unless the descriptions in question are specified, physicalism, understood as the claim that every mentally specified state or process is identical with some physically specified state or process, is empty hand-waving. It can be argued on behalf of the type-identity physicalist that future psycho-physiological research will allow us to specify which types of mentally-specified states or processes are identical with which physically-specified states or processes. No such possibility can be envisaged if token-identity physicalism (Davidson 1970/1980) is true. Consequently, the case for token-identity physicalism must rest on an a priori argument. But the argument which Davidson offers is inconclusive. Token-identity physicalism is, therefore, in serious danger of being side-lined, should evidence supporting the stronger type-identity thesis be forthcoming.
[References]  [Reprinting collections]
Download: 1999e Token- versus Type-Identity Physicalism.pdf
Place, U. T. (1999g). Intentionality naturalized: dispositions and quotations [Unpublished paper].
Download: 1999g Intentionality Naturalized - Dispositions and Quotations.pdf
Place, U. T. (2000d). The two-factor theory of the mind-brain relation. Brain and Mind, 1, 29-43. doi:10.1023/A:1010087621727
The analysis of mental concepts suggests that the distinction between the mental and the nonmental is not ontologically fundamental, and that, whereas mental processes are one and the same things as the brain processes with which they are correlated, dispositional mental states depend causally on and are, thus, "distinct existences" from the states of the brain microstructure with which 'they' are correlated. It is argued that this difference in the relation between an entity and its composition/underlying structure applies across the board. All stuffs and processes are the same thing as is described by a description of their microstructure. In all cases where the manifestation of a disposition extends beyond the "skin" of the dispositional property bearer, dispositions invariably depend causally on the structure, usually the microstructure, of the bearer.
[References]  [1 referring publications by Place]  [Reprinting collections]
Download: 2000d The Two Factor-Theory of the Mind-Brain Relation.pdf