Analysis Of Brie Gertler's Essay: A Defense Of A Defense

888 Words4 Pages
Eron Huynh Professor Meshelski Phil 150 19 November 2014 In Defense of a Defense In Brie Gertler’s essay A Defense of Mind-Body Dualism, she argues that mental states are separate from physical properties. Perhaps the strongest proof that Gertler gives against physicalist J.J.C. Smart is her Disembodiment Argument, which states that one can conceive pain without the actual presence of a physical body. In this paper, I will explain why I believe mental states are not identical to physical processes. In Smart’s essay, Sensations and Brain Processes, he uses the identity thesis, which states that pain (a mental state) is identical to c-fiber stimulation (a physical process) in order to prove his point. While he does say that there are both physical and mental states, only physical properties exist. Smart, being a physicalist, feels that there is no need to instill mental properties onto these obviously physical processes. However, Gertler states in her Disembodiment Argument that one can experience pain even in the absence of a physical body. The Disembodiment Argument is as follows: I can conceive of experiencing pain even without a physical body. Anything that I can conceive is possible. It is possible that the same pain that I feel while in a physical body is the same pain that a disembodied entity feels the…show more content…
He believed the simplest idea was the best idea; that without all the dualistic frills and whistles, the world would be a much simpler thing to explain. To Smart, I believe most of Gertler’s argument was just “nomological danglers,” or pieces of information that were ultimately unnecessary in answering the big picture question. Smart preferred a more streamlined approach to explaining brain processes, but Gertler’s argument is on the opposite spectrum completely. Now that I have given Gertler’s dualistic view of mental states and physical processes, I will present Smart’s physicalist

    More about Analysis Of Brie Gertler's Essay: A Defense Of A Defense

      Open Document