The philosophy of Smart is based on the idea that when he reports a pain he is not really reporting anything. He prefers to discuss an afterimage than the pain, because this word “pain” could be something irrelevant to his purpose which is the notion of “distress”, Smart would define pain as a “certain agitation- condition”.
Although J.J.C.wishes to resist to the suggestion of “I am in pain” to be a genuine report, and that it reports an irreducibly psychical something. His main reason to resist is because of his believe in “Occam’s razor”. This consists in that someday everything would be explain as a viewpoint of science where organisms are able to be seen as physicochemical mechanisms, and therefore even the behavior of men could beexplained in mechanistic terms. Until now everything is almost science explicable except for “consciousness”. “It seems that sensations and states of consciousness do seem to be the one sort of thing left outside the physicality picture and for various reasons I just cannot believe that this can be”- J.J.C. Smart.
Smart argues the possibilities that such sensations (yet inexplicable) would be“nomological danglers” (he credits this term to Herbert Feigl). He considers the systems in which these nomological dangers would dangle, as quite odd. He also argues why can’t there be psycho-physical laws. Although he is unable to believe in the nomological danglers or in the laws whereby they would dangle, because he still does not know any philosophical arguments that seem to compel to thatbelieve and until that he cannot suspect anything of this argument. Therefore the object of “sensations and brain processes” is to prove that there are no philosophical arguments which compel us to be dualists. This is why Smart supports Wittgenstein’s position because in this view there are, no sensations J.J.C. believes that men are a vast arrangement of physical particles, and that they are not, overand above this, sensations or states of consciousness. He believes men only express a temptation (behavior disposition), for example: that men go through a sophisticated sort of wince ( meaning as to shrink or start involuntarily, as in pain or distress), when they say “I am in pain”.
Another argument is “why should not sensations just be brain process of a certain sort”. Some scientists doconsider sensations brain process but Smart insists to prove there are not as cogent (power of reasoning or convincing) as they commonly think. He states in his thesis that he does not claim sensation statements can be translated into statements about processes. He does not claim either that the logic of a sensation statement is the same as that of a brain-process statement. What Smart does claim isa report of something that is in fact a brain process.
When Smart uses “is” he uses it in a strict identity. He also discusses possible objections to the view that the processes reported in sensation statements are in fact processes in the brain. The objections are explained using as example a morning star versus an evening star in different ways. This is resumed as follows:
1) Anybody cantalk about his/her afterimages and pains and not know anything about neurophysiology.
2) It is a cogent fact that when we have a kind of sensation a brain process occurs. Although when we report a sensation we are not reporting a brain process.
3) Even if objections 1 and 2 do not prove that sensations are something over and above brain-process, they do prove that the qualities of sensations aresomething over and above the qualities of brain-process. That is possible it may be possible to get out of asserting the existence of irreducibly psychic processes, but not out of asserting the existence of irreducibly psychic properties.
4) The after image is not in physical space. The brain-process is. So the after-image is not a brain-process.
5) It would make sense to say of a molecular...