Browsing Philosophic Exchange by Subject "Behaviorism"
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Ethical and Epistemic Dilemmas of Behaviorism and the Identity ThesisJerome Shaffer’s argument against behaviorism and the identity theory assume that the wrongness of causing pain is constituted entirely by that effect. However, the intrinsic wrongness of such actions lies in the intentions of the agent, not in the physical responses of the victim.
On Being in the MindThere is exactly one good reason to prefer dualism to the identity theory, and it is is this: whereas brain events occur in a particular spatial location inside the head, it is nonsensical to say that mental events occur in any particular location. Professor Shaffer’s other objections to the identity theory are either parasitic on this one, or else unsuccessful.
The Philosophy of Mind and Some Ethical ImplicationsMaterialism is the view that the only things in existence are material – matter in motion. Materialists hold that mental events are either identical to bodily events, or that mental events are particular kinds of behavior exhibited by particular material objects. These theories face several serious problems, involving spatial location, privileged access, and other phenomena. Moreover, these theories cannot explain why it is wrong to cause pain in another person. It is not obvious why it is wrong to cause another person to exhibit pain behavior, nor is it obviously wrong to cause physical events to occur in another person’s brain. These ethical implications of behaviorism and the identity theory constitute serious disadvantages for those theories. Consequently, what we have here is an argument for dualism.