Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Functionalism, philosophy of mind: the thesis that mind states are functional states that can be described by input and output. See also identity theory, mind-body-problem, materialism, physicalism, mental states.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Anita Avramides on Functionalism - Dictionary of Arguments

I 146
Functionalism/Avramidis: allows to refer to behavior with propositional attitudes, not on linguistic behavior - it allows a subjective image of the mind.
I 147
Problem: this requires an indefinite number of further propositional attitudes.
I 149
Functionalism/Lewis: we take mental concepts as theoretical terms (TT) - and define our mental-theoretical terms by reference to the platitudes (commonplaces) of folk psychology - these shall contain both, theoretical terms and the rest - then transform every theoretical term into a name - replace them with free variables - then existential closure (of the open formulas ((s) Ramsey sentence) - with that we achieve the original theory with the claim that it has a single implementation - then the theory has input/output concepts, but no specifically mental terminology - problem: how do we characterize input and output - BlockVsFunctionalism: either characterizes them chauvinistically or liberally - ((s) because a purely physical characterization of the inputs and outputs would include or exclude the wrong ones. )
I 153f
AvramidesVsFunctionalism: if he is set to non-mentalistic characterization of the inputs and outputs, then he has to say what distinguishes mental from non-mental systems that have the same functional organization - Avramides: we always start with mentalistically characterized behavior - even with the marsians we say that his behavior must have an interpretation - so if normal evidence (block: not only linguistic, but mainly linguistic behavior) is part of our theory of propositional attitudes, we are committed to a symmetry between the semantic and the psychological.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Avr I
A. Avramides
Meaning and Mind Boston 1989

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-01-25
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