Functionalism paper

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Functionalism paper

References and Further Reading 1. He received his A. Fodor died Functionalism paper November 29, Physicalism, Functionalism, and the Special Sciences Throughout his career Fodor endorsed physicalism, the claim that all the genuine particulars and properties in the world are either identical to or in some sense determined by and dependent upon physical particulars and properties.

Although there are contested questions about how physicalism should be formulated and understood MelnykStoljarthere is nevertheless widespread acceptance of some or other version of physicalism among philosophers of mind.

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Accepting physicalism thus goes hand in hand with rejecting mind-body dualism. Fodor helped to change that, in part by drawing a clear distinction between mere mentalism, which posits the existence of internal, causally efficacious mental states, and dualism, which is mentalism plus the view that mental states are states of a non-physical substance.

In so doing, they have rather strongly suggested that the exorcism can be carried through only if such a logical connection can be made out.

Attributing mental states to organisms in explaining how they get around in and manipulate their environments need not involve the postulation of a mental substance different in kind from physical bodies and brains.

In addition to clearly distinguishing mentalism from dualism, Fodor put forward a number of trenchant objections to behaviorism and the various arguments for it. He argued that neither knowing about the mental states of others nor learning a language with mental terms requires that there be a logical connection between mental and behavioral terms, thus undermining a number of epistemological and linguistic arguments for behaviorism Fodor and ChiharaFodor Perhaps more importantly, Fodor argued that empirical theories in cognitive psychology and linguistics provide a powerful argument against behaviorism, since they posit the existence of various mental states that are not definable in terms of overt behavior Fodor Unlike behaviorism, which attempts to explain behavior in terms of law-like relationships between stimulus inputs and behavioral outputs, functionalism explains behavior in terms of internal properties that mediate between inputs and outputs.

Indeed, the main claim of functionalism is that mental properties are individuated in terms of the various causal relations they enter into, where such relations are not restricted to mere input-output relations, but also include their relations to a host of other properties that figure in the relevant empirical theories.

On this view, the causal roles that define mental properties are provided by empirical psychology, and not, say, the platitudes of commonsense psychology, or the analyticities expressive of the meanings of mental terms; see Reych. By defining mental properties in terms of their causal roles, functionalists allow that the same mental property can be instantiated by different kinds of physical systems.

Functionalism thus goes hand in hand with the multiple realizability of mental properties. Functionalism thereby characterizes mental properties at a level of abstraction that ignores differences in the physical structure of the systems that have these properties. Early functionalists, like Fodor and Putnam, thus took themselves to be articulating a position that was distinct not only from behaviorism, but also from type-identity theorywhich identifies mental properties with neurophysiological properties of the brain.

If functionalism implies that mental properties can be realized by different physical properties in different kinds of systems or the same system over timethen functionalism apparently precludes identifying mental properties with physical properties.

Functionalism paper

Fodor, in particular, articulated his functionalism so that it was seen to have sweeping consequences for debates concerning reductionism and the unity of science.

Traditionally, reductionists sought to articulate bridge laws that link special science predicates with physical predicates, either in the form of bi-conditionals or identity statements.

Multiple realizability thus guarantees that special science predicates will cross-classify phenomena picked out by physical predicates. This, in turn, undermines the reductionist hope of a unified science whereby the higher-level theories of the special sciences reduce to lower-level theories and ultimately to fundamental physics.4 Troubles with Functionalism Functionalism, Behaviorism, and Physicalism The functionalist view of the nature of the mind is now widely accepted.1 Like behav- iorism and physicalism, functionalism seeks to answer the question ‘‘What are mental.

Functionalism Paper Functionalist view of the family. The functionalist analysis of the family deals with the role that the family plays in the maintenance of the social system. The family meets certain basic needs or prerequisites of society. It also considers the functions of the family for its individual members.

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Functionalism paper

words. 1 page. A Comparison of Dennett's Intentional Strategy and Identity and Functionalist Theory.

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