Experiences are Objects. Towards a Mind-object Identity Theory

Riccardo Manzotti


Abstract: Traditional mind-body identity theories maintain that consciousness is identical with neural activity. Consider an alternative identity theory – namely, a mind-object identity theory of consciousness (OBJECTBOUND). I suggest to take into consideration whether one’s consciousness might be identical with the external object. The hypothesis is that, when I perceive a yellow banana, the thing that is one and the same with my consciousness of the yellow banana is the very yellow banana one can grab and eat, rather than the neural processes triggered by the banana. The bottom line is that one’s conscious experience of an object is the object one experiences. First, I outline the main hypothesis and the relation between mind, body, and object. Eventually, I address a series of traditional obstacles such as hallucinations, illusions, and commonsensical assumptions.

Keywords: Identity Theory; Mind/Body Problem; Consciousness; Hallucinations; Illusions


Le esperienze sono oggetti. Verso una teoria dell’identità della mente in quanto oggetto

Riassunto: Le teorie dell’identità tra mente e corpo di tipo tradizionale hanno affermato una relazione di identità tra coscienza e attività neurale. Si consideri una teoria dell’identità di carattere alternativo – propriamente una teoria dell’identità che intenda la coscienza come un oggetto (OBJECTBOUND). Suggerisco di considerare la possibilità che la coscienza di qualcuno possa essere trattata come identica a un oggetto del mondo esterno. Sulla base di questa ipotesi, quando percepisco una banana gialla, ciò che coincide con la mia coscienza della banana gialla è proprio la banana gialla che si può prendere e mangiare, piuttosto che il processo neurale innescato dalla banana. In definitiva l’esperienza cosciente di un oggetto che ciascuno ha è l’oggetto che si esperisce. In una prima parte, procederò con il delineare l’ipotesi principale e la relazione tra mente, corpo e oggetto. Successivamente cercherò di risolvere alcuni problemi di tipo tradizionale, quali le allucinazioni, le illusioni e gli assunti di senso comune.

Parole chiave: Teoria dell’identità; Problema mente/corpo; Coscienza; Allucinazioni; Illusioni

Parole chiave

Identity Theory; Mind/Body Problem; Consciousness; Hallucinations; Illusions

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4453/rifp.2016.0003

Copyright (c) 2016 Riccardo Manzotti

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