What Can Philosophers Of Mind Learn From Being in Love?

A Philosopher's Take

An underlying project for many philosophers of mind is to form general theories about the nature of consciousnessand mental states. One general theory of consciousness identifies mental states with physical states. In the philosophy of mind game, we call these “physicalist identity theories”. These theories basically assert that every type of mental state is identical to some type of physical state. A frequent example that is used to explore the soundness of physicalist identity theories is the mental state of pain. It would not be a small stretch to say that pain is the paradigmatic example of a mental state in philosophy of mind. If physicalist identity theories are true, then pain is identical to some type of physical state. Some philosophers of mind even use our experience of pain to tease out arguments for why physicalist identity theories are false. In an influential paper, Brie Gertler asks…

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