Behaviourist Theory Vs Identity Theory

1104 Words5 Pages

In this essay I will be comparing the identity theory to the behaviorist’s theory.
Both theories are similar in the sense that they are of the monists (physicalism) view but they do vary in many other ways that I will point out in the duration of my essay.
I do believe that the behaviorist theory is the better argument for reasons I will outline in this essay.

The identity theory

The identity theory refers to the understanding that the mind and the brain are identical. They say that mental processes are the same thing as brain processes. This gives us a better explanatory role with causation regarding mental states. According to the identity theory, the “Mind” and the “Brain” refer to one object (the physical brain). (Anthony Oyowe, personal …show more content…

Most would assume that Nick is in pain means that Nick is having some internal, private experience of hunger. According to behaviorists, this is not the case. To say “Nick is hungry” doesn’t mean that Nick is having some inner, private experience but instead, terms like “hunger” speak of observable behavior. But then it would be difficult to see that Nick is hungry if he is not showing any signs of being hungry. The mind just is behavior. Behavior is physical thus is the mind is physical.
Objections To Identity Theory
There are a few objections when it comes to the identity thoery. The Leibniz's Law of Identity says that if two objects are identical, then they have all of the same properties. So if you could show something true about brain events that are untrue of mental events, then you could prove that the brain and mind are not the same thing. (Anthony Oyowe, personal communication, march 11, 2015) Another objection could be with the fact that people who go through major damage to the brains, lets say due to brain surgery or a car crash, sometimes their mental fuctions are undisturbed. So how can we explain this since the theory suggests that if the brain were to be disturbed, the mental functions would be …show more content…

Firstly, it is like-minded with knowledge of humans and brains. Secondly, it accounts for the close relation we think there is between mind and body. When we talk about how a person thinks or believes, we are talking about how a human behaves. Thirdly, it is a monistic theory removing mental substance, which makes it an acceptable theory for materialists. In addition, the causal role for mentality is removed. So it could be argued that theory that the mind causes behavior is equivalent to theory that the mind is behavior.
The behaviorist theory solves the inverted qualia theory by the defining mental states in reference to their associated behaviours instead of of by reference to their conscious qualities thereby avoiding the inverted qualia problem altogether concluding that if two people behave as If they both see the same color then they probably do. (Jessica Lerm, personal communication, April 9, 2015).
The behaviorist theory also solves the The zombie/absent qualia since Behaviourism doesn’t define mindedness as possession of mental substance but by as behaving as one who is minded, it follows that there is no such thing as zombies at all: anybody who acts like they have a mind will by definition have a mind. (Jessica Lerm, personal communication, April 9,

Open Document