Mind–brain identity and evidential insulation

Philosophical Studies 153 (3):377-395 (2011)
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Abstract
Is it rational to believe that the mind is identical to the brain? Identity theorists say it is (or looks like it will be, once all the neuroscientific evidence is in), and they base this claim on a general epistemic route to belief in identity. I re-develop this general route and defend it against some objections. Then I discuss how rational belief in mind–brain identity, obtained via this route, can be threatened by an appropriately adjusted version of the anti-physicalist knowledge argument. Responses to this threat usually appeal either to different modes of presentation or to phenomenal concepts. But neither type of response is satisfactory. I provide a novel response, which appeals to an innocuous epistemic peculiarity of phenomenal states, namely their, as I shall call it, evidential insulation.
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Archival date: 2013-04-26
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