A Reductionist Refutation of Kripkean Dualism
According to Kripke, 'pain' and 'C-fiber stimulation' are rigid designators, 'Pain is C-fiber stimulation' is not necessary, therefore pain is not identical with C-fiber stimulation, and thus type identity theory is false. This argument is not sound because 'pain' is not a rigid designator. What it is like for us to be in pain must be different from what it is like for bats or Martians to be in pain. 'Pain' does not designate a single mental state among different species. I argue that species-specific identity is necessary. If human pain is C-fiber excitation, they have the same causal powers. If properties are individuated by causal powers, and if the laws of nature are relations of properties, human pain and C-fiber excitation will have the same causal powers across all possible worlds where they exist. Having the same causal powers in all their worlds they are necessarily identical.
Keywords: Kripke, dualism, rigid designator, necessity of identity, type identity theory, species-specific identity, reductionism, mental causation
Dr. Chang-Seong Hong
Department of Philosophy, Minnesota State University Moorhead