more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 6376

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

Full Idea

Putnam was too quick to assert neuroscientific support for multiple realizability; current evidence does not reveal it, and there is some reason to think the enterprises of neuroscience are premised on the hypothesis of brain-state identity.

Gist of Idea

Neuroscience does not support multiple realisability, and tends to support identity


comment on Hilary Putnam (The Nature of Mental States [1968]) by Thomas W. Polger - Natural Minds Ch.1.4

Book Reference

Polger,Thomas W.: 'Natural Minds' [MIT 2004], p.24

A Reaction

I have always been suspicious of the glib claim that mental states were multiply realisable. I see no reason to think that octupi see colours as we do, or experience fear as we do, even though their behaviour has to be similar, for survival.