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Topic: Functionalism (philosophy of mind)

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In the News (Thu 21 Mar 19)

  Mind, philosophy of : Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online
‘Philosophy of mind’, and ‘philosophy of psychology’ are two terms for the same general area of philosophical inquiry: the nature of mental phenomena and their connection with behaviour and, in more recent discussions, the brain.
In philosophy of mind, these developments led to Functionalism, according to which mental states are to be characterized in terms of relations they bear among themselves and to inputs and outputs, for example, mediating perception and action in the way that belief and desire characteristically seem to do.
In the philosophies of mind and psychology, the issue is not primarily the meanings of expressions in natural language, but of how a state of the mind or brain can have meaning or content: what is it to believe, for example, that snow is white or hope that you will win.
www.rep.routledge.com /article/V038   (2798 words)

 Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind - functionalism(2)   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
Functionalism (2) is an explanatory approach to behavior and cognition that assumes the framework of evolutionary biology.
Functionalism (2) differs from the functionalism, sometimes designated as "input-output functionalism," that often appears in the literature of cognitive science and philosophy of mind.
In sum, under functionalism (2), our attribution of a given representational content to a person will be constrained by what it is possible for that person to represent, given that his or her behavior or cognitive state is an adaptive response to the domain or situation in question.
artsci.wustl.edu /~philos/MindDict/functionalism2.html   (1036 words)

Functionalism's main difference from (philosophical) behaviorism is that it thinks the same thing is true of mental states: they cannot be fully defined in terms of behavior, or even in terms of relations between stimuli and behavior: the definition of a mental state must also make reference to other mental states.
Functionalism is the view that mental states are functional states, where a functional state is a state definable in terms of inputs, outputs, and other functional states.
We can think of the ontological question in the philosophy of mind, namely the mind-body problem, as essentially the question: "What is common to all _______s in virtue of which they are _______s?" (where the blanks are to be filled in with the name of some sort of mental state--pain, say, or belief).
www.trinity.edu /cbrown/mind/functionalism.html   (3726 words)

 Functionalism (philosophy of mind) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
While functionalism has its advantages, there have been several arguments against it, claiming that it is an insufficient account of the mind.
This is the functional definition of state one; it is its causal role in the overall system.
Another common criticism of functionalism is that it implies a radical form of semantic holism.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Functionalism_(philosophy_of_mind)   (3384 words)

 Functionalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Functionalism in the philosophy of mind is the doctrine that what makes something a mental state of a particular type does not depend on its internal constitution, but rather on the way it functions, or the role it plays, in the system of which it is a part.
Functionalism is the doctrine that what makes something a thought, desire, pain (or any other type of mental state) depends not on its internal constitution, but solely on its function, or the role it plays, in the cognitive system of which it is a part.
If functional characterizations of intentional states are intended to capture their “narrow contents”, however, then the inputs and outputs of the system will have to be specified in a way that permits individuals in different environments to be in the same intentional state.
plato.stanford.edu /entries/functionalism   (9367 words)

 bluejoh:: the dungeon has... - Philosophy of Mind - Functionalism
Functionalism would appear to benefit from being able to refer to behaviour, and making behavioural propositions, yet still allowing mental states to be the cause of behaviour.
This can be seen as one of the main problems with functionalism, in that it is so ‘wildly liberal,’[x] that it will allow for almost anything to be considered a mind, if it functions in a similar way, but it such a thing may lack qualitative states.
A simple behaviourism or functionalism goes the other way: right about the Martian, wrong about the madman.’[xi] He suggested that there needed to be a slight alteration to the functionalist conception in order for it to allow for both to be considered to be in pain.
www.bluejoh.com /dungeon/archives/000429.php   (2325 words)

 The KLI Theory Lab - Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of mind seeks a different sort of understanding of the mind; it investigates what the mind is and how its nature lets it operate as psychology says it does.
The book is organized around six themes: functions and teleology, evolutionary psychology, innateness, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and parallels between philosophy of biology and philosophy of mind.
Functions: co-ordinating annual conferences on aspects of the scientific study of consciousness; creating electronic seminars in which researchers from a variety of fields discuss important topics; co-ordinating with journals (the society has two official journals, Consciousness and Cognition and PSYCHE); promotion of other activities in the field (smaller conferences, mailing lists, bibliographic resource, etc.).
www.kli.ac.at /theorylab/Areas/PM.html   (2857 words)

 Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind - functionalism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
A popular way to pump the intuition that all that needs to be kept constant about a subject to keep the subject's mental properties constant is the set of causal relational properties of the subject is what has come to be known as "the silicon chip replacement" thought experiment.
While it is true that in decompositional functionalism the function of the system being explored is often abstracted from its physical realization, it is also the case that that realization is continuously re-examined in order to better understand and characterize its function.
As a theory of mind, however, computation-representation and metaphysical functionalism wrongly entail that the implementation of a functional story is irrelevant to capturing the various aspects of behavior.
www.artsci.wustl.edu /~philos/MindDict/functionalism.html   (1638 words)

 Philosophy of Mind at Erratic Impact's Philosophy Research Base
Functionalism and other materialisms leave out consciousness in their attempt to say what it is. Something very new is needed -- maybe the idea in this first paper to the effect that perceptual consciousness consists in a state of affairs -- the existence in a way of things or a world.
Being conscious is sufficient for having a mind in one sense of the word `mind', and being conscious is necessary and fundamental to having a mind in any decent sense.
Philosophy of mind and the philosophical issues arising in the allied domain of cognitive sciences constitute a fast developing territory, which is very well introduced by a number of excellent web resources (see our choice at RECOMMENDED LINKS section).
www.erraticimpact.com /~topics/html/philosophy_of_mind.htm   (1489 words)

Moreover, by identifying the mind with a complex internal neural structure, it allows mental states to be specified, not by any direct relation to stimulus and response but by a complex profile that relates them to stimulus, response and all the other mental states that might interact or interfere with their operation.
Functionalism is, therefore, either with or without token identity, that development from — or, perhaps, that developed form of — behaviourism, which is designed to give serious weight to inner processes.
But functionalism denies that qualia are given in experience and presents the same kind of purely relational conception of experiential states as physical science does of the physical world.
members.aol.com /NeoNoetics/MATERIALISM_MIND.html   (3173 words)

 bluejoh:: the dungeon has... - Philosophy of Cognitive Science - Functionalism vs. Behaviourism
Even if functionalism does leave qualia out, it does not leave out sensations like pain, pleasure, and so on, since these are defined not in terms of their qualitative character but in terms of their functional role.
Functionalism's main difference from (philosophical) behaviourism is that it thinks the same thing is true of mental states: they cannot be fully defined in terms of behaviour, the definition of a mental state must also make reference to other mental states.
Functionalism, however, says that the common factor which all pains share is their functional role, more specifically their relation to inputs, outputs, and other functionally defined mental states.
www.bluejoh.com /dungeon/archives/000423.php   (2614 words)

 Philosophy of mind - Article from FactBug.org - the fast Wikipedia mirror site   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
Philosophy of mind is the philosophical study of the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, and consciousness.
Identifying the mind with physical substances or properties is one direct form of materialism, and claiming that psychological theory (whichever flavor you wish) is reducible to scientific theory is another, albeit indirect, form of materialism.
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind by Paul Newall, aimed at beginners.
www.factbug.org /cgi-bin/a.cgi?a=23039   (1472 words)

 Philosophy of Mind
The Meta-Encyclopedia of Philosophy is comprised of seven different dictionaries that may be used to compare definitions of important terms and hence appreciate the subtleties of philosophical concepts, while the has many free essays, in addition to the wealth of material available if you are prepared to register.
Philosophy Pages is a site providing several useful resources, including a dictionary of philosophical terms, an history and timeline of philosophical development and key thinkers, and a study guide.
To summarise our discussion, then, we have seen that there are many aspects to the philosophy of mind and many approaches to follow in tackling it, all of which have a certain plausibility on the surface but which present interesting problems when we probe deeper.
www.galilean-library.org /int14.html   (5881 words)

 Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind - Putnam, Hilary   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
Drawing on his expertise in the theory of recursive functions and Turing machines, Putnam formulated a philosophical position that he named 'functionalism' in the 1950s.
Functionalism became very influential in the philosophy of mind.
According to this theory, the mind is, basically, a computing machine, and thus it is organization, and not material composition, that is relevant to the study of cognition.
philosophy.uwaterloo.ca /MindDict/putnam.html   (271 words)

 Philosophy of Mind: Qualia-Based Problems with Identity and Functionalism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
Mind and cognition : a reader / edited by William G. Lycan.
Please consult the Oxford University Faculty of Philosophy Philosophy of Mind reading list, for a further list of topics, readings and fundamental questions pertaining to this paper.
Discuss the various arguments for why qualia (or "the subjective character of experience") is a problem for physicalism/identity theory and functionalism.
users.ox.ac.uk /~scat1685/philosophy/mind/qualia.html   (321 words)

 The Mystery of Mind
John Searle has published numerous books and articles in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language, including his latest Mind: A Brief Introduction (Fundamentals of Philosophy).
An introduction to the philosophy of the mind
An anthology of essays on the mind, Mind and Cognition
www.philosophytalk.org /pastShows/MysteryofMind.htm   (561 words)

 Bristol University - Department of Philosophy - Philosophy of Mind   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
The philosophy of mind is concerned with the nature of mind and its relation to the natural physical world.
According to dualists, mind and body are distinct and separable substances with incompatible properties.
There are many accounts of mind which are compatible with this overall position, including the identity theory, functionalism, anomalous monism, and eliminative materialism.
www.bris.ac.uk /philosophy/current/undergrad/studyguide/mind.html   (1547 words)

 Philosophy 342
This course will begin with a brief introduction to the history of philosophical thinking about the mind, especially to the theory of mind-body dualism, the view that the mind and body are two distinct substances.
Contemporary philosophy of mind actually raises four different but related problems.
  The topic may be drawn either from the history of the philosophy of mind or from related work in the cognitive sciences, artificial intelligence, or the neurosciences.
www.iit.edu /~schmaus/Philosophy_of_Mind   (635 words)

 Philosophy of Mind Philosophy Society
- The science, philosophy, and history of imagination and mental imagery, and their relevance to the understanding of consciousness and cognition.
According to the Representational Theory of Mind, psychological states are to be understood as relations between agents and mental representations.
- Evaluates the theory that holds that states and processes of the mind are identical to states and processes of the brain.
www.iaswww.com /ODP/Society/Philosophy/Philosophy_of_Mind   (1031 words)

 Amazon.com: Philosophy of Mind (Dimensions of Philosophy): Books: Jaegwon Kim   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
Ranging over traditional and contemporary accounts of the mind, Philosophy of Mind is a model of exposition, clarity, and fairness.
Buddhist Philosophy — Ciis is a university that connects the spiritual and practical dimensions of intellectual life as you pursue your doctoral, masters or bachelors completion degree.
Philosophy of Mind (Dimensions of Philosophy) by Jaegwon Kim
www.amazon.com /Philosophy-Mind-Dimensions-Jaegwon-Kim/dp/0813342694   (1274 words)

 Philosophy of Mind
BMJ have a useful glossary of terms in the philosophy of mind.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which currently doesn't have very much in the philosophy of mind.
Warning: philosophers of mind disagree about how some of the key terms should be defined: for example, some people use 'physicalism' for what I will be calling the "Identity Theory".
www.nyu.edu /gsas/dept/philo/courses/mind   (966 words)

 Contemporary Philosophy of Mind: An Annotated Bibliography
Many core areas of contemporary philosophy of mind are covered, but some areas (e.g.
philosophy of perception, philosophy of action, propositional attitude semantics, moral psychology) receive less coverage than others.
Part 6 on the science of consciousness is relatively new and is not annotated.
consc.net /biblio.html   (530 words)

 Philosophy Of The Mind
The philosophy of the mind is a branch of philosophy concerned with questions about how the mind works.
Each page in this section will be focused on a different major philosophy that has arisen concerning the study of the mind.
But the whole field of functionalism was a revolutionary change primarily aimed against ideas like behaviorism.
www.mindcreators.com /PhilosophyOfTheMind.htm   (295 words)

 Evolution and Philosophy: a Revolution IN Philosophy. Home of Metaethical Functionalism and Metaphysical Functionalism.   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-09)
Welcome to the home of "Metaphysical Functionalism" (or, with respect to ethics, "Metaethical Functionalism" or "Panvitalism"), which applies evolutionary theory to help illuminate the nature, origins, and practice of philosophy.
It offers what I think are fascinating implications for psychology, the philosophy of mind, and many other areas of inquiry -- including the "unholy grail" of philosophy, a naturalized ethics (in the form of axiology)!
Here you can learn about evolutionary theory, metaethics, metaphysics, functionalism, ethics (especially axiology), philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and much more.
www.kentvancleave.com /Evolphi/evolphi.htm   (179 words)

 Philosophy of Mind Comprehensive Exam Reading List | CUNY Graduate Center Philosophy Program
Block, Flanagan, and Guzeldere (The MIT Press, 1997.) Three asterisks*** indicate that the work is available, in whole or suitable abridgment, in Mind and Cognition, ed.
Richard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, ch.
Wilfrid Sellars, "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind," §§VII, XI-XV in Sellars, Science, Perception and Reality also available at http://www.ditext.com/sellars/epm.html
web.gc.cuny.edu /Philosophy/programs/rl_mind.html   (423 words)

 Baalbek: philosophy: mind
Qualia also represent a huge problem for functionalist theories of mind (or, indeed, functionalist theories of anything).
Includes papers on consciousness and related areas in the philosophy of mind, as well as papers on the science of consciousness.
Exploring the subjective feel of conscious states and the problems subjectivity causes in contemporary philosophy of mind.
www.baalbek.org /mind.html   (248 words)

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