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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

David K. Lewis on Functionalism - Dictionary of Arguments

I 57f
Putnam’s functionalism is another (earlier) than that of Lewis. It is directed against the computer model of the mind. It believes in the idea of ​​a "program of the mind" which might be realized materially somewhere else already, e.g. in the totality of a rail system with freight transport.
I 58
Lewis: his functionalism has nothing to do with that. But according to him, it might well be that machines cannot have a mind a priori.
- - -
Functionalism/Lewis: I don't know if I am a functionalist: I reject at least two main theses:
1 Vs the thesis that someone only feels pain when he is in a state that the role of pain occupies for him.
Lewis: It should depend on what role this state also plays in other individuals of its kind.
>Causal role/Lewis
2 Vs the thesis that "pain" is a rigid desigator for what all share who feel pain. Rather, the word non-rigidly denotes the state that the role of pain plays in various given ways.
Certainly there is a state, because all those who feel pain have in common, namely "to have pain" But that is not the pain itself. And it is not the role of pain either! It is a "diagonal sense".
- - -
Schwarz I 146
Analytical functionalism/terminology/Schwarz: this is how Lewis's position is sometimes called because of its holistic characterization. (Block, 1978(1), 271ff).
>Holism, >Analytical/synthetical.
I 148
"analytical": because the characterization of causal roles in Lewis is supposed to be analytical.
But if functionalism is to be understood as a theory of Vs identity, then Lewis is not a functionalist, but an identity theorist.
Standard objections VsFunctionalism do not affect Lewis at all: Bsp mental states:
Mental states/Lewis: for their characterization it also needs a substantial connection to the perceived environment, etc. Therefore there is no danger that we have to ascribe feelings to the Chinese economy.
>Mental states.

1. Ned Block [1978]: “Troubles with Functionalism”. In C.W. Savage (Hg.) Perception and
Cognition: Issues in the Foundations of Psychology, Minneapolis: Minnesota University

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.

Lewis I
David K. Lewis
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989

Lewis I (a)
David K. Lewis
An Argument for the Identity Theory, in: Journal of Philosophy 63 (1966)
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, , Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis I (b)
David K. Lewis
Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications, in: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1972)
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, , Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis I (c)
David K. Lewis
Mad Pain and Martian Pain, Readings in Philosophy of Psychology, Vol. 1, Ned Block (ed.) Harvard University Press, 1980
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, , Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis II
David K. Lewis
"Languages and Language", in: K. Gunderson (Ed.), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. VII, Language, Mind, and Knowledge, Minneapolis 1975, pp. 3-35
Handlung, Kommunikation, Bedeutung, Georg Meggle, Frankfurt/M. 1979

Lewis IV
David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983

Lewis V
David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986

Lewis VI
David K. Lewis
Convention. A Philosophical Study, Cambridge/MA 1969
German Edition:
Konventionen Berlin 1975

Clarence Irving Lewis
Collected Papers of Clarence Irving Lewis Stanford 1970

LewisCl I
Clarence Irving Lewis
Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) 1991

Schw I
W. Schwarz
David Lewis Bielefeld 2005

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2023-09-23
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