Single Idea 8462

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 6. Conceptual Dualism]

Full Idea

A physical ontology has a place for states of mind. An inspiration or a hallucination can, like the fit of ague, be identified with its host for the duration. It leaves our mentalistic idioms fairly intact, but reconciles them with a physical ontology.

Gist of Idea

A hallucination can, like an ague, be identified with its host; the ontology is physical, the idiom mental


Willard Quine (The Scope and Language of Science [1954], §VI)

Book Reference

Quine,Willard: 'Ways of Paradox and other essays' [Harvard 1976], p.243

A Reaction

Quine is employing the same strategy that he uses for substances and properties (Idea 8461): take the predication as basic, rather than reifying the thing being predicated. The ague analogy suggests that Quine is an incipient functionalist.

Related Idea

Idea 8461 The category of objects incorporates the old distinction of substances and their modes [Quine]