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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE

DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY

COLLOQUIUM

"Ryle on Sensation and the Origin of the Identity Theory"


     Abstract: "Contemporary physicalist theories of mind descend from the identity theory of Place, Smart, and Feigl;but the first articulations of the identity theory themselves partially originated in a misunderstanding of Ryle's conceptual explanation of mind and consciousness. An analysis of Ryle's project in early articles and in The Concept of Mind shows that Ryle was not a logical behaviorist and that he did not intend to analyze sensation-terms as referring to internal dispositions. On the other hand, one of the objections the early identity theorists brought against Ryle - that his theory could not capture the reporting use of sensation-terms - does expose a substantial and historically significant weakness in Ryle's account of sensation. This suggests a re-thinking of our reasons for accepting theoretical descendants of the identity theory, but also suggests that the immediacy of sensation poses deep problems for any suggested "grammatical" or "conceptual" analysis of it."

Paul Livingston

Department of Philosophy

University of California, Irvine

Friday, January 25, 2002

3 pm

HOB2 233


Paul Livingston

A Bibliography
Compiled by
Eddie Yeghiayan


2001

Forthcoming


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