Blocking Kripke’s Argument Against the Type-Identity Theory of Mind

Acta Analytica 38 (3):371-391 (2023)
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In this paper, I present a two-pronged argument devoted to defending the type-identity theory of mind against the argument presented by Kripke in _Naming and Necessity_. In the first part, the interpersonal case, I show that since it is not possible to establish the metaphysical conditions for phenomenal identity, it is not possible to argue that there can be physical differences between two subjects despite their phenomenal identity. In the second part, the intrapersonal case, I consider the possibility of imagining one and the same individual having the same phenomenal state while counterfactually being in very different physical states. I argue that this case should respect Kripke’s implicit theory of personal identity—but this proves to be a very difficult task to accomplish, thus preventing the argument from getting off the ground. Therefore, I maintain, that the type-identity theory is still the better option to solve the mind–body problem.

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Simone Gozzano
Università degli Studi dell'Aquila


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