“Identity Theory”- Is this a signal toward No Life After Death?

“Identity Theory”- Is this a signal toward No Life After Death?

The area we are going to discuss is a part of the Philosophy of Mind. Let’s understand the basic concept of Identity first!

Physicalism (or materialism) Everything is dependent on a physical thing for its existence. The Mind has no existence independent of some physical body.

Further, Mind and bodies are made up of physical stuff. They also claim that the mental events, states and processes occur due to the phenomenon happening to the body.

How Mental concepts are correlated to physical events? If two organisms are physically identical, then the psychological state would also be the same. And therefore, they are correlated.

Extreme states of Physicalism is epiphenomena which says that mental states are just the bi-products of physical states.

Logical Behaviourism

It is the theory that mental events could be explained in terms of behavioural concepts    (or the concepts which appears to us). This Theory was developed by Gilbert Ryle in his book The Concept of Mind(1949).

We can discuss Identity theory under Logical Behaviourism.

Type identity theory claims that ‘physical’ type of things are ‘mental’ type of things. Identity theory is physicalist & reductionists.

Reductionist theory

Reduction of psychological thoughts into physical states is Reductionism. Physics is the Foundational science. Scientists expect that molecules are reducible to atoms, the brain is reducible to its neurons, and the mind is reducible to the brain.

Emergenists rejects reductionism theory and claims that mind somewhat emerges from the brain and it is having its own functions.

Types of Identity Theory

Token identity– For every psychological state, there is a corresponding physical state. The psychological experience of Pain due to heat is identical to physical touch on the hot surface.

Type Identity – particular psychological state are identical to a particular physical state. Natural disasters and loss of lives may bring pains to those who have lost someone.

Hilary Putnam 1967 raised problems in identity theory. According to Hilary, When we are talking about psychological states, we should concentrate on what it does rather than what it is made of? (rejecting the physicalist view of the concept of mind).

Functional Complexity 

Many philosophers have agreed with the identical theory of mind and brain. Kant has theorized the concepts of subject and object in which ‘the object without a subject’ is meaningless and ‘subject without an object’ is not possible.  But Philosophers like Descartes has rejected the Identity concepts by theorizing the dualism of Mind and Body.

If Mind is just the part of the body, then the mind should be destructed with the destruction of the body. If our memories are getting destructed with the destruction of mind, then how we still recall the experiences of our past life?

Information Theory is a solution to this problem. The DNA carries information of its parents and pass it from generation to generations. There must be a resemblance of our behaviour to our ancestors. The reason is the transfer of information from the parent body to its succeeding forms. Therefore, the complete death of a person can be ignored.  And identity theory could be blamed for lacking verifiability.

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