Scientific Materialism and the Identity Theory1

Norman Malcolma1

a1 Cornell University

My main topic will be, roughly speaking, the claim that mental events or conscious experiences or inner experiences are brain processes. I hasten to say, however, that I am not going to talk about “mental events” or “conscious experiences” or “inner experiences.” These expressions are almost exclusively philosophers terms, and I am not sure that I have got the hang of any of them. Philosophers are not in agreement in their use of these terms. One philosopher will say, for example, that a pain in the foot is a mental event, whereas another will say that a pain in the foot certainly is not a mental event.


1 This paper was read at the Sixtieth Annua Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division. It is a reply to Professor J.J.C. Smart's essay, “Materialism”, published in The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. LX, No. 22: October, 1963.