Mind and Cognition

An Anthology
3rd Edition
Edited by
W illiam G. Lycan
Jesse J. Prinz




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3 5 9 8 2 5

Skinner The Identity Theory and Machine Functionalism 2 3 4 5 25 The Causal Theory of the M ind D. F.Contents Preface to the Third Edition Preface to the First Edition Acknowledgments Part I O n tology: The Id en tity T heory and F u n ctio n a lism xi xii xiii 1 Introduction 3 Behaviorism 15 1 Excerpt from About Behaviorism B. Armstrong 31 The Nature of Mental States Hilary Putnam 40 Troubles with Functionalism (excerpt) Ned Block 48 Mental Events Donald Davidson Homuncular and Teleological Functionalism 7 23 Is Consciousness a Brain Process? U. Place Anomalous Monism 6 17 The Continuity of Levels of Nature William G. Lycan 53 55 67 69 . M. T.

After all. o f the most genera nature o f things and of man. realm for philosophy where she might still be queen. Armstrong. But. but no knowledge. W ittgenstein took the view that philosophy could do no more than strive to undo the intellectual knots it itself had tied. it is to science that we must turn. Many analytic philosopher{ now w ould accept the view that the central tasl< of philosophy is to give an account. but it was not until the twentieth century. The success o f science created a crisis in philo­ sophy. Philosophy can only cast light upon our concepts o f those things. however. or at least pla) a part in giving an account. so achievD. A little later. through science and only through science can we build upon these verities. There was better hope ol continued em ployment for members o f the profession! Since that time. the great intellectual fact o f our culture has been the incredible expansion o f knowledge both in the natural and in the rational sciences (mathematics. with the Vienna Circle and with W ittgenstein. Ever since the seventeenth century. The Causal Theory of the Mind. M. ing intellectual release. One consideration that has had grea influence was the realization that those whe thought that they were abandoning ontologica and other substantive questions for a mere inves tigation o f concepts were in fact sm uggling ii . This retreat from things to concepts was not undertaken lightly. (I would include myself am ong that many. and more optimistically. Everyday life presents us with certain sim ple verities. Ryle saw a positive. they thought. logic). On the whole. philosophers in the “analytic” tradition have swung back from Wittgensteinian and even Rylean pessimism to a more traditional conception of the proper role and tasks o f philosophy. m any English-speaking philosophers w ould have answered: “N othing beyond an analy­ sis o f the various mental concepts” If we seek knowledge o f things. What was there for philosophy to do? Hume had already perceived the problem in some degree. Armstrong Is Philosophy Just Conceptual Analysis? W hat can philosophy contribute to solving the problem o f the relation to mind to body? Twenty years ago. it seems. are we sim ply witnessing a return o f what philosophers had repressed? think not. from The Nature o f Mind and Other Essays. if much reduced. if reduced. role for philosophy in mapping the “logical geo­ graphy” o f our concepts: how they stood to each other and how they were to be analyzed. 1980. and so surely did Kant. and even a certain illum i­ nation. M.3 The Causal Theory o f the M ind D. it retained a special. that the difficulty began to weigh heavily. University of Queensland Press.) Why has this swing back occurred? Has the ole urge o f the philosopher to determ ine the nature of things by a priori reasoning proved too strong1 To use Freudian terms. Ryle’s view proved more popular than W ittgenstein's. and with astonishing results.

since philosophers could not help holding views on substantive matters. Furthermore. The C oncept o f a Mental State The philosophy o f philosophy is perhaps a some­ what joyless and unrewarding subject for reflec­ tion. The swing back by analytic philosophers to first-order questions was also due to the growth o f a more sophisticated understanding o f the nature o f scientific investigation. the propositions the philosopher arrives at need not be o f a special nature. The philosopher has certain special skills. and observationalistic a spirit. It was graduahy realized that in the past scientific investigation had regularly been conceived in far too positivistic. the biochemist or others. matter. The differences between a stone and a hum an body appear to lie solely in the extremely com plex material set-up that is to be found in the living body and which is absent in the stone. Let us now turn to the m ind-body problem itself. Faced with examples like this. but the views were there.32 D. and far worse from their stand­ point. and. ARMSTRONG views on the substantive questions. rather than the other way around. the anal­ ysis o f concepts. seemed to be upholding an account o f man and his mind that was extremely close to Behaviorism. Rather. I contend. They did not acknowledge that they held these views. the detection of ambiguities and inconsistencies. although he denied that he was a Behaviorist. If we consider the m ind-body problem today. but about things. Ryle was wrong in taking the analysis of concepts to be the end o f philosophy. the border-line between science and philosophy began to seem at least more fluid. Furthermore. the neurophysiologist. nonorganic. In the particular case o f the m ind-body problem. But the way that the argument is marshaled by a philosopher will be a special way.) As the central role of specula­ tion. sensationalistic. then it seem s that we ought to take account of the following consideration. not about concepts. the views had better be held and discussed explicitly instead o f appearing in a dis­ torted. it seemed in many cases that it was this view of the m ind-body problem that led him to his particular analyses o f particular mental concepts. and it is easy to imagine evidence that would . For a philo­ sophical tradition that is oriented towards science. and the views could not help affecting their anal­ yses of concepts. on the whole. All this is not beyond the realm o f controversy. the con ­ sideration o f the methods of science must be an important topic. Western philosophy is. and the hope arose again that philosophy might have som ething to contribute to first-order questions. as. Gilbert Ryle. The present state of sci­ entific knowledge makes it probable that we can give a purely physicochemical account o f man’s body. it began to appear that. because unacknowledged. there is rather strong evi­ dence that it is the state o f our brain that com­ pletely determ ines the state o f our consciousness and our mental state generally. form. W hether this special way has or has not any particular value in the search for truth is a matter to be decided in particular cases. these special skills do not entail that the objective o f philosophy is to do these things. theory. perhaps especially. the views im posed a form upon their answers to the conceptual questions. may be suggested to the philosopher by the results achieved or programs proposed by those disciplines. the analysis o f concepts is a means by w hich the philosopher makes his contribution to great general questions. They perhaps might have been arrived at by the psychologist. hoping that what is to be said about this particular topic will confirm the general remarks about philosophy that have just been made. and. But neither is there an a priori reason for assuming that the philoso­ pher’s contribution will be valueless. and reasoning in scientific investiga­ tion began to be appreciated by more and more philosophers. M. It seems increasingly likely that the body and the brain o f man are constituted and work according to exactly the same principles as those physical principles that govern other. These include the stating and assessing o f the worth o f arguments. For instance. They are rather the special means by which philosophy attempts to achieve further objectives. in The Concept o f Mind (1949). including the bringing to light and making explicit suppressed premises o f arguments. But. There is no a priori reason for thinking that the special methods o f philosophy will be able to make a contribution to the m in d -b od y problem. (The influence o f Karl Popper has been o f the greatest importance in this realization. indeed.

If A pours m olten lead down B’s throat. Again. In particular. it is necessary that it act in a certain sort o f way: roughly. An example o f a causal concept is the concept of poison. M y view is that the identification o f mental states with physical states o f the brain is a per­ fectly intelligible one. it seem s to me. Poisons are accounted poisons in virtue of their active powers. a perception or a feeling o f sorrow must be a different category o f thing from an electrochemical discharge in the central nervous system. and dis­ covering further what it is about the substance that makes it poisonous. then he may cause B to die as a result. a poison can be introduced into the system o f an organism and that organism fail to die or even to sicken. but that they are actually identical with these brain-states. to be measured against competitors. which. and is exhausted by. The argument just outlined is quite a simple one. This leaves open the possibility o f the scientific identification o f poisons. According to this view. the philosopher makes the way smooth for a first-order doctrine. To a great m any think­ ers it has seemed obvious a priori that mental states could not be physical states o f the brain. the poison m ay be present in insufficient quantities to do any damage. The analysis proposed may be called the Causal analysis o f the mental concepts. But the essential point about the concept o f poison is that it is the concept o f that. and to be assessed as plausible or 33 implausible independently of the identification it makes possible. The concept o f poison is the concept of something that when introduced into an organism causes that organism to sicken and/or die. the concept o f a state that is apt to be the cause o f certain effects or apt to be the effect o f certain causes. and perfectly legitimate. such as cyanide. Is our concept o f a mental state such that it is an intelligible hypothesis that mental states are phys­ ical states of the brain? If the philosopher can show that it is an intelligible proposition (that is. it has been thought. But suppose that the physicochemical view o f the working o f the brain is correct.1 This is but a rough analysis o f the concept the structure o f w hich is in fact somewhat m ore complex and subtle than this. The problem o f the identification may be put in a Kantian way: “H ow is it possible that mental states should be physical states o f the brain?” The solution will take the form of proposing an inde­ pendently plausible analysis o f the concept o f a mental state that will permit this identification. as I take it to be. it is there to speak for itself. but such a pro­ cedure is com m onplace in the construction o f theories. then the scientific argument just given above can be taken at its face value as a strong reason for accepting the truth of the proposition. and that this becom es clear once we achieve a correct view o f the analysis o f the mental concepts. I adm it that my analysis o f the mental concepts was itself adopted because it permitted this identification. including many phi­ losophers. a non-self-contradictory proposition) that mental states are physical states o f the brain. In this way. It will be very natural to conclude that mental states are not simply determined by corresponding states o f the brain. In the same way. the concept of a mental state essen­ tially involves. which produces certain effects. is a question to which philosophers can expect to make a useful contri­ bution. Here. Thus brittle objects are accounted brittle because o f the disposition they have to break and shatter when sharply struck. whatever it is. Yet again. It is a question about mental concepts. in a biological as opposed to a purely physical way. brain-states that involve nothing but physical properties. In any case. Other qualifications could be made. whatever the m otive for proposing the analysis. is a doctrine o f the first importance: a purely physicalist view o f man. For a thing to be called a poison. who would not. but many sorts of thing are accounted the sorts o f thing they are by virtue of their passive powers. . I think that it is just possible that evidence from psychical research might be forthcom ing that a physico­ chemical view o f m an’s brain could not accom ­ modate. and it hardly demands philosophical skill to develop it or to appreciate its force! But although m any contemporary thinkers would accept its conclusion.T H E C A U S A L T H E O R Y OF T H E MI N D upset the picture. This might occur if an antidote were administered promptly. is a poison. of discovering that a certain sort o f substance. N obody would identify a number with a piece o f rock: it is sufficiently obvious that the two entities fall under different categories. but he can hardly be said to have p o i­ soned him. true or false. there are others.

For instance. The general pattern of analysis is at its most obvious and plausible in the case o f purposes. a Causal analysis must assign quite differ­ ent causal roles to these different things in the bringing about o f behavior. or physical states of.” if the agent perceives or otherwise comes to believe that X has been achieved. but they are ladders that may need to be kicked away after we have mounted up by their means. the desire for food is a state o f a person or animal that characteristically brings about food-seeking and food-consum ing behav­ iour by that person or animal. then it w ould be a quite unpuzzling thing if mental states should turn out to be physical states o f the brain. So it is only to be expected that the causal patterns invoked by the mental concepts should be extremely com plex and sophisticated. A purpose is only a purpose if it works to bring about behavioral effects in a certain sort o f way. We may sum up this sort o f way by saying that purposes are informationsensitive causes. or tends to drive. will be “switched off. his perceptions o f and/or beliefs about the world. In the case o f poisons. perceptions and beliefs about the agent’s current situation and the way it develops. I believe that this can be done by giving an account o f perceptions and beliefs as mappings o f . H ow can w e distinguish the purpose to go to the kitchen to get something to eat from another purpose to go to the bedroom to lie down? Only b y the different outcomes that the two purposes tend to bring about. Further­ m ore. differ­ ent physical patterns in. By this is meant that purposes direct behavior by utilizing perceptions and beliefs. The concept o f a mental state is the concept o f som ething that is. It is still more plausibly explained by saying that the concept o f purpose is a causal concept. the effect o f which they are the cause is a gross and obvious phenom enon and the level o f causal explanation involved in simply calling a substance “a poison” is crude and simple. apt for causing certain effects and apt for being the effect o f certain causes. and beliefs about the way the world works. The further hypothesis that the two purposes are. In the case o f the notion of a purpose. The causes o f m ental states will be objects and events in the person’s environment. a sensation o f green is the characteristic effect in a person o f the action upon his eyes o f a nearby green surface. For instance. the cause o f certain effects and the effect o f certain causes. This m eans that if we are to give a purely causal analysis even o f the concept o f a purpose we also will have to give a purely causal analysis o f perceptions and beliefs. his purposes and. it is plausible to assert that it is the notion o f a cause within which drives. But since perceptions and beliefs are quite different sorts o f thing from pur­ poses. We may think o f man’s behavior as brought about by the joint operation o f two sets o f causes: first. the central nervous system is then a natural (although. n ot logically inevitable) supplement to the causal analysis. It is vital to realize that the mental concepts have a far more complex logical structure than sim ple causal notions such as the concept o f poison. At this point. The fact should occa­ sion no surprise. It is. This fact was an encourage­ ment to Behaviorism. differences in such behavior are elaborately correlated with differences in the mental causes operating. notorious that we are unable to characterize purposes except in terms o f that which they tend to bring about. Simple models have great value in trying to grasp com plex conceptions. it is completely natural to conceive o f this purpose as a cause within him that brings about. that particular line o f conduct. in various sorts of way. But this is not the w hole story. But in the case o f mental states. characteristically. their effects are all those complexities of behavior that mark off m en and higher animals from the rest o f the objects in the world.This leaves open the possibility o f discovering empirically what sorts o f thing are brittle and what it is about them that makes them brittle. for instance. If a m an’s purpose is to go to the kitchen to get som e­ thing to eat. it is part o f what it is to be a purpose to achieve X that this cause will cease to operate. For instance. in their own nature. N ow if the concepts o f the various sorts o f mental state are concepts o f that which is. What sort o f effects and what sort o f causes? The effects caused by the mental state will be certain patterns o f behaviour of the person in that state. furthermore. o f course. the man or animal through a series o f actions to a certain end-state. we observe that an account is being given o f that special species o f cause that is a purpose in terms o f further mental items: per­ ceptions and beliefs. second. or tends to bring about.

at least in outline. What Dualist philosophers have grasped in a con ­ fused way is that our direct acquaintance with m ind. with behavior. if the Physicalist identification o f the nature of the causes is correct. a research program in conceptual analysis rather than a developed theory. This has gi/en aid and comfort to Dualist or Cartesian theories of mind. and inferring in Belief. and of per­ ception and belief upon purpose. his striving has an objective. This m odel is created in us by the world. Truth and Knowledge (1973). No husbands without wives or wives without husbands. What we are aware of is the pres­ ence o f factors within us that drive in a certain direc tion. Two advantages of the Causal theory may now be mentioned. Purposes may then be thought of as driving causes that utilize such mappings. there is nothing very surprising in this. a Causal analysis o f all the main concepts in A M aterialist Theory o f Mind (1968). there is no warrant for this inter­ pretation and.se. First. when we raise Hume’s problem: what marks off beliefs from the mere entertaining o f the same proposition? It seems that we can only mark off beliefs as those mappings in the light of which we are prepared to act. the facts admit of another explanation. This is a mere thumb-nail. Second. directly or indirectly. which are potential servants o f our purposes. the concepts o f husband and wife or the concepts o f soldier and army. perception. is an acquaintance with som ething that we are aware o f only as something that is causally linked. which occurs in introspective awareness. for instance. In the case o f our purposes and desires. according to which minds are quite different sorts of thing from material objects. which are explicated in terms o f their causal role. What falls under the mental concepts will be a complex and interlocking set of causal factors. (This comes out. O ne point that becomes clear when that develop­ m ent is given is that just as the concept o f purpose cannot be elucidated w ithout appealing to the concepts o f perception and belief. that is. if the Causal anal­ ysis is correct. and that the nature of mental states is singularly elusive and hard to grasp. We are not aware o f the intrinsic nature o f the factors. knowledge. which requires m uch further development as well as qualification. W hen a man strives. the Causal analysis yields a still more spectacular verification.) The logical dependence o f purpose on perception and belief. is not circularity in definition. They are structures within us that m odel the world beyond the structure. which together are responsible for the “minded” behavior o f men and the higher animals. so the latter cannot be elucidated w ithout appealing to the concept o f purpose. Correlative or mutually implicated concepts are com m on enough: for instance. But if the concepts o f purpose. and I have supplemented the rather thin account given there o f the concepts o f belief. Introspective awareness is analyzable as a mental state that is a “perception” o f mental states. The working out o f the Causal theory o f the mental concepts thus turns out to be an extremely com plex business. What it show s is that the correspond­ ing concepts must be introduced together or not a t all. for instance. and belief are (i) correlative concepts and (ii) different species o f purely causal concepts. however. the Causal theory is. but that these objects and states o f affairs need net exist. In fact. This emptiness or gap in our awareness is then interpreted by Dualists as immateriality. In itself. to use the phrase o f Imre Lakatos. It shows promise o f explaining a philosophically notorious feature o f all or almost all mental states: their intentionality. The having of mental imagery is a sort o f mental state that cannot be elucidated in directly causal terms.THE CAUSAL T H E O R Y the world. OF T H E MI ND 35 Two examples of mental concepts where an especially complex and sophisticated type o f Causal analysis is required are the notions o f introspective awareness (one sense of the word “consciousness”) and the having o f mental imagery. This was the feature o f mental states to which Brentano in particular drew attention. it has often been remarked by philosophers and others that the realm of m ind is a shadowy one. no army without soldiers. I have tried to show that it is a hopeful program by attempting. But if the Causal analysis is correct. Indeed when it is merely baldly stated. It is a mapping of the causal factors them ­ selves. we are often (though rot invariably) introspectively aware o f them. then it is clear that they are far more complex in structure than a simple causal concept like poison. the interpreta­ tion is actually fa. the fact that they may point towards certain objects or states o f affairs. b ut that objective may . but only by resemblance to the cor­ responding perceptions. N o soldiers w ithout an army.

For the m echanism to operate suc­ cessfully. I think that sentence transla­ tion (with synonymy) is too strict a demand to make upon a purported conceptual analysis. some device will be required by which the developing situation is “mapped” in the mechanism (i. If this is so. O ne problem quite frequently raised in connection with these analyses. Nevertheless. etc. malfunction o f the gyroscope) this mapping may be “incorrect. One thing that we clearly need further light upon here is the concept o f a concept. Clearly. Concepts are linked primarily with belief and thought. Going back to the case o f poison: it is surely not an empirical fact. For this reason. that w e consider a concept like the concept o f poison. . however. and non-minded objects that operate in a similar but far more com plex way are found in nature.” It is no objection to this analogy that homing rockets are built by m en with purposes. But.g. W hen he believes. H om ing rockets might have been natural products. Suppose. it has been objected. therefore. and belief and thought. the rocket may “point” towards a certain target in a way that is a simulacrum o f the way in w hich purposes point towards their objectives. This capacity o f mental states to “p o in t” to what does not exist can seem very special. may not be an investigation into words. is in what sense they can be called “analyses. Even in this simple case. if synonym ous translations o f mental statements are unavailable.36 D. however close the empirical connec­ tion may be in m any cases. ARMSTRONG never be achieved.).” But although this seems obvious enough. Through one circumstance or another (e. it is extremely difficult to give exact translations o f sentences containing the word “poison” into other sentences that do not contain the word or any synonym . Brentano held that intentionality set the m ind completely apart from matter. It is at the center of our notion o f what poisons are that they have the power to bring about this effect. I incline to the view that the connection between concepts and language is much less close than many philosophers have assumed. it is not at all clear that the task can actually be accomplished.which underlies the use o f certain words and sentences. however. be in principle a no more mysterious affair. to be learnt by experience. they would not be properly called “poison s. So it may be said that this is what poisons “point” to. what precisely can be meant by speaking o f “analyses o f concepts”? I am far from clear what should be said in reply to this objection. Given a certain setting of its mechanism. This m apping is an elementary analogue o f perception. If they did not do that.) I w ish I were able to take the topic further. May not the intentionality o f mental states. however. who deliberately stamp a crude model o f their own purposes into the rocket. Does it not provide us with a miniature and unsophisticated model for the intentionality o f mental states? Poisons are substances apt to m ake organisms sicken and die when the poison is administered. although indefinitely more complex. then an analysis o f concepts. what course the rocket is cur­ rently on. The living cell is a case in point. What more relaxed demand can we make and still have a conceptual analysis? I do not know. that poisons kill. poisons may fail of their effect. M.e. I think. it does depend upon taking all conceptual analyses as claims about the synonym y o f sentences. although o f course con­ ducted in words. (A com prom ise proposal: analysis o f con­ cepts might be an investigation into some sort of “deep structure” ‫ ־־‬to use the currently hallowed phrase .” The welter of com plica­ tions in which the so-called analyses are involved make it sufficiently obvious that they do not consist o f synonymous translations of statements in which mental terms figure. and that seems to be too sim ple a view. there is som ething he believes. consider the mechanisms involved in a homing rocket. and how concepts are tied to language. than the death that lurks in the poison? As an interme­ diate case between poisons and mental states. have a great degree o f logical independence o f language. The mechanism will only bring the rocket to the target in “standard” circumstances: many factors can be conceived that would “defeat” the mechanism. and so the course that is “m apped” in the mechanism may be thought o f as a simulacrum of the perceptual intentional object. but what he believes may not be the case. So the Causal analyses o f the mental concepts show promise o f explaining both the transpar­ ency and the intentionality o f mental states. A p oison does not fail to be a poison because an antidote neutralizes the customary effect of the poison.

THE C AUS AL T HE OR Y OF T H E MI N D The Problem of the Secondary Qualities N o discussion o f the Causal theory of the mental concepts is complete that does not say something about the secondary qualities. is the doctrine that the Causal analysis o f the mental concepts is a step towards: Materialism or Physicalism. hearing. If we consider such mental states as purposes and intentions. includ­ ing tactual extension. “Visual extension” is the shape. taste. heat and cold. it is not certain whether the phenomenal qualities pose any threat to the Causal analysis o f the mental concepts. bodily sensation. In the same way. size. Again. but what is intended is not in general something mental and nor is what is perceived. The lack o f transparency is even more obvious in the case o f bodily sensations. that som e object o f visual perception is perceived to have (an object that need not exist). even if mental states o f no very high-grade sort. N ow in the case of the phenom enal qualities. and smell the experience o f sounds. that perception has this transparent character. The qualities o f color. taste and smell together with the qualities that appear to be involved in bodily sensations and those that may be involved in the case o f the em o­ tions. It is clear that such properties as color. different sorts o f sounc are linked with different sorts o f sound-wave anc differences in heat with differences in the mear kinetic energy o f the m olecules com posing the hot things. Only in the case o f the emotions does it seem natural to place the quality on the mental rather than the object side: but then it is not so clear whether there really are peculiar qualities associated with the em o­ tions. It is notorious that introspection cannot differenti­ ate such states except in terms o f their different objects. the Qualities assnri- 37 ated with the sensations do not appear to be qualities of mental states but instead to be qualities o f portions o f our bodies: more or less fleeting qualities that qualify the place where the sensation is located. They are not mere “that whiches” known only by their causal role. Perception involves the experience of color and o f visual extension. but he is committed to whatever set of properties the physicist in the end will appeal to. The different patterns o f bodily sensations associated with the different em otions may be sufficient to do phenomenological justice to the emotions. The Materialist is not com m itted to the current set o f properties to w hich the physicist appeals. and smells. and tingles are mental states. For these reasons. But what a subset o f these qualities quite certainly does pose a threat to. The intention is a mental state and so is the perception. endow different perceptions with different qualities.will never be properties to which the physi­ cist will appeal. They not merely appear to. And similarly for the other phenomenal qualities. H e seeks to give an account o f the world and o f man purely in terms o f physical properties. it may be argued. and the different mixtures o f lengths of wave emitted are linked w ith differences ir color. asso­ ciated with different em otions it is quite plausible to claim to discern special em otion qualities. it is not at all clear how strong is the line o f argument sketched in the previous paragraph.the so-called “secondary quali­ ties” . We distinguish between the intention and what is intended. If perception. a plausible thesis that associated with different secondary qualities are properties that are respectable from a physicist’s point oi view. sound. sound. tastes. tickles. etc. The Materialist’s problem therefor( would be very simply solved if the secondary nnalitip* rnnlH bp identified w ith these nhvsicalb . It is. However. are an embarrassment to the modern Mate­ rialist. emit light-waves. then this seems to falsify a purely Causal analysis o f these mental states. and they each seem to involve their own peculiar qualities. Pains. but undoubtedly do. taste. and in just the same way we must distinguish between the perception and what is perceived. Physical surfaces appear to have color. What is intended may not com e to pass. however. and emotions involve qualities. These phenomenal qualities. touch the experience of the whole obscure range of tactual properties. and smell . their “transparency” is a rather conspicuous feature. Even in the case of the bodilv sensations. that is to say in terms of the properties that the physicist appeals to in his explanations o f phe­ nomena. it seems plausible to say that they are qualities not o f the perception but rather o f what is perceived. it is a merely intentional object. and the same may be said o f what is perceived. It is not so immediately obvious. itches. Color seems to be a quality o f that object. however.

we are under no temptation to think that the likeness is a likeness in some simple quality. having nothing but physical properties. to move round in a circle. a spec­ ification that may com e as a com plete surprise to us. the features that determ ine the likeness. is that they are unanalyzable. therefore. If they involve som ething more. the quality o f being red in Causal terms w ould lead us to produce such analyses as “those properties o f a physical surface. and still seems to m any philosophers to be. There are two divergences between the model just suggested and the case o f the secondary qual­ ities. M. but are unable to define or specify that likeness. it may be possible to perceive that certain people are all alike in som e way w ithout being able to make it clear to oneself what the likeness is.” But this analysis sim ply shifts the problem unhelpfully from property o f surface to property o f sensation. a matter o f our awareness o f them rather than the way they are. The best m odel I can give for the situation is the sort of p h en om ­ ena m ade familiar to us by the Gestalt psycholo­ gists. I do n ot think that they show that the secondary qualities cannot be iden­ tified w ith respectable physical characteristics of objects. they are not in fact simple. but be unable to analyze that property. o f course. and we can observe individually. It is possible to grasp that certain things or situations have a certain special property.) The great problem presented by the secondary qualities. an absolute bar to iden­ tifying redness with. and perhaps they are complex characteristics of a sort dem anded by Material­ ism. our attention can be drawn to. (The qualities associated with bodily sensations w ould be identified with different sorts o f stim ulation o f bodily receptors. A R M S T R O N G respectable properties. But I am not so sure. It is true also that in the case o f the sec­ ondary qualities the illusion cannot be overcome within perception: it is im possible to see a colored surface as a surface emitting certain light-waves. N ow he must ask: “H ow is it possible that secondary qualities could be purely physical properties o f the objects they are qualities oft” A Causal analysis does not seem to be o f any avail. in the case o f grasping the indefinable likeness o f people. such as redness.38 D. but we are vaguely aware that it is com plex. They have certain relations o f resem­ blance and so on to each other. that characteristically produce red sensations in us. (To give a Causal analysis o f red sensations as the characteristic effects o f the action o f red surfaces is. Either the red sensations involve nothing but physically respectable properties or they involve som ething more.) But now the Materialist philosopher faces a problem. (Though one sometimes seems to hear a sound as a vibration of the air. And if the identification is a possible . then the Materialist faces the problem: “How is it possible that red sensa­ tions should be physical states o f the brain?” This question is no easier to answer than the original question about the redness o f physical surfaces. For instance. Second. not ontological. To try to give an analysis of. say. Perhaps. they would presumably be identified with som e o f the physical states o f the brain linked with particular em otions. Later psychological research may achieve a specification o f the likeness. say. This has seemed to be. The likeness is indefinable. But they are simple in the sense that they resist any analysis. We are aware that all these people have a certain like­ ness to each other. Perhaps their simplicity is epistemological only. It has the consequence that perception of the secondary qualities involves an element of illusion. Previously he asked: “How is it possible that mental states could be physical states o f the brain?” This question was answered by the Causal theory o f the mental concepts. You cannot give any complete account o f the concept o f redness w ithout involving the notion o f redness itself. First. it still seem s to be a pos­ sible one. but the consequence involves no contra­ diction. Materialism fails But if they are sim ply physical states of the brain. the secondary qualities are in fact complex. so they cannot be said to be completely simple. I think it can be main­ tained that although the secondary qualities appear to be simple. W hy should not a com plex property appear to be simple? There w ould seem to be no contradiction in adding such a condition to the model. whatever they are. certain patterns of emis­ sion o f light-waves. If there are unique qualities associated with the em otions.) But w hile this means that the identification o f color and light-waves is a purely theoretical one. but we are unable to grasp their complexity in perception. once research has determined the concrete nature of the likeness. But although the model suggested and the case o f the secondary qualities undoubtedly exhibit these differences.

) . 1978. As 1 have emphasized. rev.. particularly the physicist. 3rd edn. N ote 1 “A ny substance which. But at least he may neutralize the objections to Materialism advanced by his fellow philosophers.THE CAUSAL THEORY OF T H E MI ND one. The doctrine o f mental states and of the second­ ary qualities briefly presented in this essay seems to m e to show promise of meeting many of the traditional philosophical objections to a Material- 39 ist or Physicalist account of the world. the philosopher is not professionally competent to argue the positive case for Material­ ism. we have general scientific reasons to think it a plausible one. when introduced into or absorbed by a living organism. There he must rely upon the evidence pre­ sented by the scientist. destroys life or injures health.” (Shorter Oxford Dictionary.