Thomas W. Polger

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In Natural Minds, Thomas Polger joins a growing number of theorists who defend the mind-brain type-identity theory while casting doubt upon orthodox nonreductive varieties of functionalism in the philosophy of mind. Polger has written a fine book in a fast-paced style that covers a lot of ground. He discusses different kinds of multiple realizability and(More)
My topic is the confluence of two recently active philosophical research programs. One research program concerns the metaphysics of realization. The other research program concerns scientific explanation in terms ofmechanisms. In this paper I introduce a distinction between descriptive and explanatory approaches to realization. I then use this distinction(More)
Functionalism is a philosophical theory (or family of theories) concerning the nature of mental states. According to functionalism psychological/cognitive states are essentially functional states of whole systems. Functionalism characterizes psychological states essentially according to what they do, by their relations to stimulus inputs and behavioral(More)
The 1990’s, we’ve been told, were the decade of the brain. But without anyone announcing or declaring, much less deciding that it should be so, the 90’s were also a breakthrough decade for the study of consciousness. (Of course we think the two are related, but that is another matter altogether.) William G. Lycan leads the charge with his 1987 book(More)
1. Physicalism, Reduction, and Water Do facts about water have a priori, transparent, reductive explanations in terms of microphysics? Ned Block and Robert Stalnaker argue that they do not (B&S, 1999). David Chalmers and Frank Jackson argue that they do (C&J, 2001). The answer is important not least because some versions of the recently fashionable(More)
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