Undersanding philosophical theories

Food for Thought A good way to test whether you understand competing philosophical theories is to apply the theories to the same situation and try to determine why they lead to different explanations or predictions. Let us try this with behaviorism and the identity theory. Consider the following situation: Suppose that you are going through a difficult time in your life. Each evening after you go to bed, you start thinking that your life is simply meaningless and empty. You are tired of having these thoughts and decide that you want to change your mind. You want to get rid of these depressing late-night thoughts.

  1. Suppose behaviorism is true. How would a behaviorist try to change his mind in this situation?
  2. Suppose the identity theory is true. How would an identity theorist go about changing her mind?

Sample Solution