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Title: The token-token identity-theory and recent theories of reference
Author: Gjelsvik, Olav
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1986
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This thesis investigates a specific kind of criticism of the token-token identity-theory. This criticism is based on recent theories of reference. In the Introduction I argue that more than Davidson's three premisses is needed to establish that mental events are identical to physical events. One needs to invoke principles about what constitutes event-identity. In Part 1 I discuss event-identities. I lay down the constraints an adequate theory of event-identity must satisfy, and criticise the major theories in the literature. I suggest an alternative view, which I defend against some recent proposals. I end Part 1 by exploring a view which takes seriously the possibility of constitution-relations between events. In Parts 2 and 3 I discuss whether the identity-theory can be defended. Part 2 discusses sensations, and I concentrate on S. Kripke's arguments against the identity-view. I distinguish two versions of Kripke's argument, one epistemic, and one metaphysical. The epistemic version of the argument presupposes Kripke's views on content, but fails by its own standards. The metaphysical version is shown to be weak and implausible. Part 3 discusses cognitive events, and concentrates on de re beliefs. I produce an argument which apparently defeats the identity-view. I elaborate two main strategies in defence of the identity-theory. I argue that given a theory of de re beliefs or singular thoughts like G. Evans's, the theory of event-identities I have developed, and some plausible further premisses, the identity-theory seems to be defeated. A reasonable interpretation of this result is to view it as an argument for constitution-relations between mental and physical events. I return to the view I introduced in part 1, and conclude that the token-token identity-theory should probably be replaced by this constitution-view if theories of de re beliefs are accepted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Identity (Philosophical concept) ; Reference (Philosophy)