more from Georges Rey

Single Idea 3179

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 4. Behaviourism Critique]

Full Idea

The two main anti-behaviourist intuitions are that mind and behaviour only relate contingently, and that for much mental life (thinking, emotion) the resulting behaviour seems unimportant.

Gist of Idea

Behaviour is too contingent and irrelevant to be the mind


Georges Rey (Contemporary Philosophy of Mind [1997], 5.3)

Book Reference

Rey,Georges: 'Contemporary Philosophy of Mind' [Blackwell 1997], p.154

A Reaction

Attractive intuitions, but not unquestionable. Since no two states of mind are ever fully identical, we can never test whether the resulting behaviour arises contingently or necessarily. The second point underestimates the physicality of mental life.