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Grazer Philosophische Studien

Volume 36, 1989

The Mind of Donald Davidson

Ullin T. Place
Pages 19-31

Thirty Five Years On — Is Consciousness Still a Brain Process?

The writer's 1956 contention that "the thesis that consciousness is a process in the brain is ... a reasonable scientific hypothesis" is contrasted with Davidson's a priori argument in 'Mental events' for the identity of propositional attitude tokens with some unspecified and imspecifiable brain state tokens. Davidson's argument is rejected primarily on the grounds that he has failed to establish his claim that there are and can be no psycho-physical bridge laws. The case for the empirical nature of the issue between the identity thesis and interactionism is re-stated in tiie light of an analysis of the causal relations involved. The same analysis is also used to demonstrate the incoherence of parallelism and epiphenomenalism as alternatives to interactionism.

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