more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 2330

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / b. Multiple realisability]

Full Idea

Mental states have vastly diverse physical/biological realizations in different species and structures (e.g. pain in humans and in molluscs), so no mental state can be identified with any single physical/biological state.


Because molluscs and humans have different nervous systems

Gist of Idea

If humans and molluscs both feel pain, it can't be a single biological state


report of Hilary Putnam (The Nature of Mental States [1968]) by Jaegwon Kim - Mind in a Physical World n p.120

Book Reference

Kim,Jaegwon: 'Mind in the Physical World' [MIT 2000], p.120

A Reaction

But maybe mollusc and human nervous systems ARE the same in the respects that matter. We don't know enough about pain to deny that possibility.