Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Author Item Excerpt Meta data
Dennett, Daniel
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Functional Explanation Lanz I 300
(Lanz in Hügli, Philosophie des 20. Jahrh. Reinbek, 1993)
Dennett/Lanz: functional analysis makes an optimality condition. (The machine uses its energy to carry out its tasks).
Intentional analysis similar: the agent is rational: he has goals that he should have because of his constitution and his place in the world. He also has opinions that he should have.
Thus, only the physicalist, causal explanation remains.
So if one asks, what are the relevant causal factors for the educated behavior which can either be explained functionally or intentionally depending on interest and complexity of the behavior, then only the physical explanation provides information.
It follows that it is an illusion to believe that intentional states are in turn causes of other mental states and causes of action.
Psychological characterizations are merely heuristic and no naturalistic descriptions. (DennettVsEvery-day psychology).
Den I 276
Function/causality/Dennett: Problem: did the first nucleotides have a function or simply causal powers? Did the clay crystals (Cairns-Smith) posess real teleological properties or just "something like" teleological properties?
Function/Game of Life/Dennett: Do the gliders have the "function" of movement or do they just move easily?
Den I 301
Function/function analysis/Dennett: a now present form has always emerged from a process. Therefore it is accessible to the functional analysis.
Fodor/Dennett: the requirement that an organism works smoothly at any stage, imposes iron restrition on its subsequent properties.
A functional analysis is complete only when it confirms that a construction method was established.

Den I
D. Dennett
Darwins gefährliches Erbe Hamburg 1997

Den II
D. Dennett
Spielarten des Geistes Gütersloh 1999

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-04-26