• Banno
    4.8k
    But then:
    All I need to observe here is that the 'causal role' of the physical
    state is regarded by the theorists in question as a contingent
    property of the state, and thus it is supposed to be a contingent
    property of the state that it is a mental state at all, let alone that
    it is something as specific as a pain.

    It seems I must be mis-reading Kripke; that he is saying that it will not suffice to claim that 'B caused A' is contingent. It must be necessary.

    Then:

    To repeat, this notion seems
    to me self-evidently absurd. It amounts to the view that the
    very pain I now have could have existed without being a mental
    state at all.

    So if the theorist is going to claim that A is B, they must claim it to be necessarily so.
  • Hanover
    4.3k
    The argument, from memory, is something like that while Hesperus is Phosphorus, and that's a fact about Venus, "Hesperus" is not "Phosphorus" - the names are quite distinct.Banno

    Lecture I, page 28. I was just reading that part. I'm behind, catching up.
  • frank
    2.3k
    'B caused A'Banno

    If B is identical to A, then B couldn't be said to cause A. I think what the identity theorist really means to say is that there is no such thing as A. All there is, is B. Kripke would have no objection to that wording (whether he'd agree or not, I don't know.) But the identity theorist can't say that A is B.
  • Banno
    4.8k
    :smile: That's it. Thanks.
  • Banno
    4.8k
    Agree with what you say about cause.

    But we say that Hesperus is Phosphorus - not that there is no Hesperus, only Phosphorus...
  • frank
    2.3k
    But we say that Hesperus is Phosphorus - not that there is no Hesperus, only Phosphorus.Banno

    Kripke says that identity statement is necessarily true.

    Do you agree that we can imagine that the brain state exists, but there is no accompanying pain?
  • Banno
    4.8k
    No.

    I think the posited position of the identity theorist is that the brain state exists if and only if the pain exists.

    Supposing otherwise would falsify their theory.

    The trick for them is to find, empirically, the right brain state.
  • frank
    2.3k
    I think the posited position of the identity theorist is that the brain state exists if and only if the pain exists.Banno

    Is it? Maybe after Kripke they realized they have to assert necessity.
  • Banno
    4.8k
    Yes - I guess that's right. SO do we move on?
  • frank
    2.3k
    To the Puzzle of Belief?
  • unenlightened
    3.3k
    I think the posited position of the identity theorist is that the brain state exists if and only if the pain exists.

    Supposing otherwise would falsify their theory.

    The trick for them is to find, empirically, the right brain state.
    Banno

    I think a large part of the trick is to replace 'state' which has a static connotation, with 'process'. Talking of brain states, I start to imagine the evil scientist inducing a 'state of pain' and then dropping the brain into liquid nitrogen and preserving the hell indefinitely. But that is not what anyone theorises, but rather that a static brain is unthinking unfeeling and dead.

    And then, one could point out that part of the brain process that is identical with a pain is an ongoing sensation, accompanied by an ongoing interpretation and judgement thereof. Thus even if, empirically, one can induce the toe ache with a particular localised stimulation of the brain, nevertheless, the whole brain is part of the process, just as it is if one induces a toe ache by treading on the toe.
  • Banno
    4.8k
    Well, I will agree at least that it's what counts as pain that is the key here. A fair point.
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