Functionalism a viable materialist philosophy essay

The judgments or beliefs in question will themselves be partially characterized in terms of their tendencies to produce sorting or categorization behavior of certain specified kinds.

The activities that a key does, could do, or is supposed to do may be called its functions. On Aristotle on the intellect W.

Functionalism durkheim

Functionalism, to a first approximation, is the claim that this is not quite good enough. Locke's view suggested that the ideas have mysterious qualia observed on the screen of an internal mental theatre. The general idea is that there might be two creatures which are physically or functionally identical but that differ in the mental states in a particularly dramatic way: one has normal conscious mental states, and the other has none at all. Shields recognizes this, however, admitting that "the possibility that Aristotle is any sort of attribute theorist collapses into the question of whether the soul is constituted by matter," and thus moves on to option 3; viz. If minds are functional devices of this sort, then one can begin to understand how physical human bodies can produce the tremendous variety of actions and reactions that are associated with our full, rich mental lives. Diamonds are valued for their hardness, their optical properties, and their rarity in nature. Even though Sorabji claimed not to want to assimilate Aristotle's theory to any modern one, Howard M. Reichenbach, H. If this is correct, then functional role properties along with the other macroscopic properties of the special sciences could count as causally efficacious but see Ney for dissent. So, we can identify mental states with their functional states. The sociological theory of Functionalism is essentially when all aspects of society that are interdependent contribute to the functioning existence of society as a whole.

Descartes believed the mind to be separable from the body, at least in principle. Lycan, W. Ryle, G.

advantages of functionalism philosophy

And if so, this is incompatible with functionalism. The most familiar sort involves a wooden platform and a metal strike bar that is driven by a coiled metal spring and can be released by a trigger. He stressed that we do not have privileged access to our beliefs and desires.

Thus the proprioception which constitutes consciousness, as distinguished from mere awareness, is a higher order awareness, a perception of one part of or configuration in our brain by the brain itself.

Armstrong had been realist about colour but Smart worried that if so colour would be a very idiosyncratic and disjunctive concept, of no cosmic importance, of no interest to extraterrestrials for instance who had different visual systems.

It's important to recognize, however, that there is at least some overlap in the bloodlines of these different strains of functionalism, and also that there are functionalist theories, both earlier and more recent, that fall somewhere in between. If it is plausible, however, it can also challenge the argument of some philosophers e.

Functionalism a viable materialist philosophy essay

As it has thus far been explained, functionalism is a theory about the nature of mental states. In addition, machines of this sort provide at least a simple model of how internal states whose effects on output occur by means of mechanical processes can be viewed as representations though the question of what, exactly, they represent has been an ongoing topic of discussion see sections 4. Another account of introspection, identified most closely with Shoemaker a,b,c,d , is that the immediacy of introspective belief follows from the fact that occurrent mental states and our introspective beliefs about them are functionally interdefined. A related suggestion is that absent qualia seem possible only because of our imaginative shortcomings, in particular, that it is hard for us to attend, at any one time, to all the relevant features of even the simplest functional characterization of experiential states; another is that the intuition that Blockheads lack qualia is based on prejudice—against creatures with unfamiliar shapes and extended reaction times Dennett , or creatures with parts widely distributed in space Lycan, , Schwitzgebel and commentary. Functionalism tries to explain the mental processes, instead of concentrating on the consciousness, functionalists focused on the idea of consciousness and behavior. This account of colour may be disjunctive and idiosyncratic. As remarked above, Place preferred to express the theory by the notion of constitution, whereas Smart preferred to make prominent the notion of identity as it occurs in the axioms of identity in logic. So it is surely not necessary that there is a one-to-one relation between mental state kinds and brain states kinds, but that is exactly what the identity theory would require. All these objections purport to have characterized a creature with the functional organization of normal human beings, but without any, or the right sort, of qualia or vice versa , and thus to have produced a counterexample to functional theories of experiential states. Borst Ed. It is safe to say that in one version or another, functionalism remains the most widely accepted theory of the nature of mental states among contemporary theorists. Feigl and W. It has politics listed as the structure and their function is to maintain order and control. See Medlin , and including endnote 1.

Everson, S.

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Functionalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)