Type materialism is a view in philosophy of Mind that holds that:

Every type of mental state is identical with some type of physical state

Other wordings may use 'event' or 'property' in the place of 'state', but the idea remains the same. The concept of types is important (hence the emphasis): the distinction is between types and tokens. A type is a class, or a set, and a token is an instance of that class. Programmers will find this concept familiar:

is a form of type, whereas
is a form of token. For example, every mental state of type 'pain' might be identical with some physical state of type 'c-fibers firing'. The main point of type materialism is to expand upon minimal materialism (which it entails), to further assert that not only is the mental world a byproduct and part of the physical world, but that entire classes of mental 'things' have physical counterparts of which they are a byproduct (speaking very informally, of course).

The biggest argument against type materialism is the multiple realizability objection.

See also: Philosophy of Mind, minimal materialism, functionalism, identity theory.

All material taken from whatever I managed to absorb from my Philosophy of Mind class at the University of Rochester during Fall 2003.

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