MODAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST PHYSICALISM IN
VIEW OF SCIENTIFIC FINDINGS CONCERNING PAIN
Maja Malec http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3552-7921University of Ljubljana - Faculty of Arts
|INDECS 14(4), 360-368, 2016
Full text available here.
Received: 23rd September 2016.
I analyse Kripke's modal argument against the mind-brain identity theories. Specifically, he argues against the identity between pain and C-fibres simulation by pointing out the difference between this identity claim and the theoretical identifications, such as 'Water is H2O' and 'Lightning is a motion of electric charges'. Kripke's argument relies on the assumption that the experience of pains is a simple and homogenous phenomenon, but scientific research shows that it is in fact a quite complex one. We can distinguish at least three components: sensory-discriminative, motivational-affective and cognitive. This discovery makes it possible to reject Kripke's argument, but it also uncovers a major flaw that is common to all modal arguments against physicalism. They proclaim to answer the fundamental question about the nature of our world by relying on our powers of imagination and without having the relevant factual knowledge.
physicalism, modal argument, pain
APA: 2630, 2320, 2380