Logic & Philosophy of Science Colloquium

Thomas Polger
University of Cincinnati

“Putnam's Intuition:
Varieties of Multiple Realizability Worth Wanting”

Multiple realizability has recently attracted renewed attention (e.g., Bickle 1998, Bechtel and Mundale 1999, Bechtel and McCauley 1999, Heil 1999, Sober 1999). But these accounts do not address the underlying intuitions that have concerned philosophers of mind since Putnam (1967). The standard way of construing multiple realizability is a much stronger claim than that of Putnam's Intuition alone. I distinguish four interpretations of the multiple realizability thesis. Some formulations of multiple realizability are almost certainly true, while others are not at all plausible. I argue that the plausible forms of multiple realizability do not impugn the prospects for a mind-brain Identity Theory.

Friday, February 2, 2001
SST 777, 3 pm

Refreshments will be served