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Are sensations still brain processes?

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Fifty years ago J. J. C. Smart published his pioneering paper, “Sensations and Brain Processes.” It is appropriate to mark the golden anniversary of Smart's publication by considering how well his article has stood up, and how well the identity theory itself has fared. In this paper I first revisit Smart's (1959) text, reflecting on how it has weathered the years. Then I consider the status of the identity theory in current philosophical thinking, taking into account the objections and replies that Smart discussed as well as some that he did not anticipate. Finally, I offer a brief manifesto for the identity theory, providing a small list of the claims that I believe the contemporary identity theorist should accept. As it turns out, these are more or less the ones that Smart defended fifty years ago.
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Keywords: Identity Theory; J. J. C. Smart; Physicalism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2011

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