J. J. C. Smart  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

John Jamieson Carswell "Jack" Smart AC (16 September 1920 – 6 October 2012) was an Australian philosopher and academic and was appointed as an Emeritus Professor by Australian National University Australia. He worked in the fields of metaphysics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and political philosophy.

Philosophy of mind

Regarding the philosophy of mind, Smart was a physicalist. In the 1950s, he was also one of the originators, with Ullin Place, of the Mind-Brain Identity Theory, which claims that particular states of mind are identical with particular states of the brain. Initially this view was dubbed "Australian materialism" by its detractors, in reference to the stereotype of Australians as down-to-earth and unsophisticated.

Smart's identity theory dealt with some extremely long-standing objections to physicalism by comparing the mind-brain identity thesis to other identity theses well-known from science, such as the thesis that lightning is an electrical discharge, or that the morning star is the evening star. Although these identity theses give rise to puzzles such as Gottlob Frege's puzzle of the Morning Star and Evening Star, in the scientific cases, some claim that it would be absurd to reject the identity theses on this ground. Since the puzzles facing physicalism are strictly analogous to the scientific identity theses, it would then also be absurd to reject physicalism on the grounds that it gives rise to these puzzles.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "J. J. C. Smart" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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