An Argument Against the Identity Theory

William Demsar


In this paper I outline two kinds of functionalism, role and realizer functionalism, as general accounts of scientific composition. I then argue that realizer functionalism is unable to deliver an appropriate notion of scientific compositional explanation. I argue this point by explaining and diagnosing the distinctive problem with the dormative fallacy and by arguing that realizer functionalism shares this problem. To be more precise, I argue that the kinds of compositional explanations that obtain if realizer functionalism is correct share the same vice as the dormative fallacy. Since we ought to reject explanations that commit the dormative fallacy, we ought also to reject realizer functionalist compositional explanations, and by corollary, realizer functionalism itself. I conclude that these considerations give us a powerful reason to favor role functionalism over realizer functionalism.


Identity Theory

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ISSN (Print): 1513-6442
ISSN (Online): 2586-9876

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