Neurocentrist identity theory and neuro-phenomenal typing: A commentary on Manzotti's, “The boundaries and location of consciousness as identity theories deem fit”

Frontiers in Psychology 13:1 - 4 (2022)
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Manzotti (2021) surveys recent variants of identity theories, defending his own preferred version, mind-object identity theory (MOI). According to this view, experiences are identical with the external objects, and the mind is thus literally “spread” in the world. Manzotti supports this view with considerations about indiscernibility of properties and other theoretical considerations. He claims that brain-mind accounts of identity commit the “fallacy of the center,” locating conscious mind inside the skull. Amongst other recent works, he comments on our (Polák and Marvan, 2018) article, in which we defended a standard, neurocentrist version of type identity theory, and supplemented it with a sketch of neuro-phenomenal typing. Manzotti holds that although we appeal to neuro-phenomenal types in our account of mind-brain identity, we nevertheless “lack a convincing explanation as to why the type of neural processes should be identical to the type of one's experience.” This is a fair point. We didn't do much in our 2018 article to support our views on the principles of neuro-phenomenal typing, either by detailed theoretical considerations or by empirical evidence. In this short rejoinder, we offer the missing argument. By doing so, we also respond both to Manzotti's cited objection and to the charge of the “fallacy of the center.”

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Tomas Marvan
Czech Academy of Sciences


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