Functionalism a viable materialist philosophy essay

The first two questions face anyone who cares to distinguish the real from the unreal and the true from the false. The third question faces anyone who makes any decisions at all, and even not deciding is itself a decision. Thus all persons practice philosophy whether they know it or not. Autocosmic Answers What is existing?

Functionalism a viable materialist philosophy essay

Just as the form of an axe is whatever enables it to cut, and the form of an eye is whatever enables it to see, the human soul is to be identified with whichever powers and capacities enable a natural, organized human body to fulfill its defining function, which, according to Aristotle, is to survive and flourish as a living, acting, perceiving, and reasoning being.

So, Aristotle argues, the soul is inseparable from the body, and comprises whichever capacities are required for a body to live, perceive, reason, and act. It was not until the middle of the 20th century, however, that it became common to speculate that thinking may be nothing more than rule-governed computation that can be carried out by creatures of various physical types.

Functionalism a viable materialist philosophy essay

As an empirical psychological theory, behaviorism holds that the behavior of humans and other animals can be explained by appealing solely to behavioral dispositions, that is, to the lawlike tendencies of organisms to behave in certain ways, given certain environmental stimulations.

Behavioral dispositions, unlike thoughts, feelings, and other internal states that can be directly observed only by introspection, are objectively observable and are indisputably part of the natural world.

Thus they seemed to be fit entities to figure centrally in the emerging science of psychology.

Functionalism a viable materialist philosophy essay

Behaviorism indeed had some early successes, especially in the domain of animal learning, and its principles are still used, at least for heuristic purposes, in various areas of psychology. But as many psychologists and others, e. For example, rats are typically placed into an experimental situation at a certain fraction of their normal body weight — and thus can be assumed to feel hunger and to want the food rewards contingent upon behaving in certain ways.

An eloquent humanist, as well as one of the great architects and designers of the 20th century, Alvar Aalto breathed life and warmth into modernism, placing emphasis on organic geometry, supple, natural materials and respect for the human element. is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her. Essay on Functionalism Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interaction. Functionalism Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interaction The functionalist thoery can be traced to a movement in the late nineteenth-century under the influences of Darwinism on the biological and social sciences.

Similarly, it is assumed that humans, in analogous experimental situations, want to cooperate with the experimenters, and understand and know how to follow the instructions.

They could do so, moreover, without compromising the objectivity of psychology as long as the mental states to which these theories appeal are introduced as states that together play a role in the production of behavior, rather than states identifiable solely by introspection. Logical behaviorism, in contrast to behaviorism as a psychological theory, is a thesis about the meanings of our mental state terms or concepts.

According to logical behaviorism, all statements about mental states and processes are equivalent in meaning to statements about behavioral dispositions. In addition, logical behaviorists argued that if statements about mental states were equivalent in meaning to statements about behavioral dispositions, there could be an unproblematic account of how mental state terms could be applied both to oneself and others, and how they could be taught and learned.

However, as many philosophers have pointed out Chisholm ; Geachlogical behaviorism provides an implausible account of the meanings of our mental state terms, since, intuitively, a subject can have the mental states in question without the relevant behavioral dispositions — and vice versa.

Putnam The problem, these philosophers argued, is that no mental state, by itself, can be plausibly assumed to give rise to any particular behavior unless one also assumes that the subject possesses additional mental states of various types.

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And so, it seemed, it was not in fact possible to give meaning-preserving translations of statements invoking pains, beliefs, and desires in purely behavioristic terms.

Still, it is instructive to give separate treatment to the three major strains of the doctrine, as long as these caveats are kept in mind. If the machine is in state Si, and receives input Ij, it will go into state Sk and produce output Ol for a finite number of states, inputs and outputs.

A machine table of this sort describes the operation of a deterministic automaton, but most machine state functionalists e.

Putnam take the proper model for the mind to be that of a probabilistic automaton: These states are not mere behavioral dispositions, since they are specified in terms of their relations not only to inputs and outputs, but also to the state of the machine at the time.

So machine state functionalism can avoid what many have thought to be a fatal difficulty for behaviorism. 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.

Finally, machine table states are not tied to any particular physical or other realization; the same program, after all, can be run on different sorts of computer hardware. However, because machine table states are total states of a system, the early functionalist equation of mental states with machine table states faded in importance as a model for the functional characterization of the complex of distinct internal states that can be simultaneously realized in a human or other subject Block and Fodor ; Putnam And many functionalists e.

Rey argue that mental states are best regarded as computational states but see Piccinini for dissent and the entry The Computational Theory of Mind for a comprehensive discussion of this question.

On a theory of this sort, what makes some neural process an instance of memory trace decay is a matter of how it functions, or the role it plays, in a cognitive system; its neural or chemical properties are relevant only insofar as they enable that process to do what trace decay is hypothesized to do.

And similarly for all mental states and processes invoked by cognitive psychological theories. Psycho-functionalism, therefore, can be seen as straightforwardly adopting the methodology of cognitive psychology in its characterization of mental states and processes as entities defined by their role in a cognitive psychological theory.

All versions of functionalism, however, can be regarded as characterizing mental states in terms of their roles in some psychological theory or other. A more formal account of this will be given in Section 4.An eloquent humanist, as well as one of the great architects and designers of the 20th century, Alvar Aalto breathed life and warmth into modernism, placing emphasis on organic geometry, supple, natural materials and respect for the human element.

Essay on The Structural Theory of Functionalism - In social science, Functionalism is the theory that put pressure on the dependence of the patterns and institutions of our society and her interaction by preserving her cultural and society unity.

Functionalism is the dominant theory of mental states in contemporary philosophy. Functionalism was developed as an answer to the problems created by identity theory and logical behaviorism.

Dialectical materialism is a philosophy of science and nature developed in Europe and based on the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.. Dialectical materialism adapts the Hegelian dialectic for traditional materialism, which examines the subjects of the world in relation to each other within a dynamic, evolutionary environment, in contrast to metaphysical materialism, which examines.

Mind–body dualism, or mind–body duality, is a view in the philosophy of mind that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical, or that the mind and body are distinct and separable. Thus, it encompasses a set of views about the relationship between mind and matter, and between subject and object, and is contrasted with other positions, such as physicalism and enactivism, in the.

With the eclipse of behaviorism and identity theory in philosophy of the mind, functionalism has become perhaps the dominant perspective in philosophy of the mind for philosophers and neuroscientists with a materialist perspective.

Consciousness | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy