Functionalism And The Functional Theory Of Mind Defines Mentality Essay

Functionalism And The Functional Theory Of Mind Defines Mentality Essay

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Ned Block in Troubles with Functionalism offers his Absent Qualia Argument. The argument provides a counter example to functionalism. The essential aspect to the functional theory of mind defines mentality in terms of its functional states of a system. The functional states of a system match states according to their inputs, outputs, and internal states. Block’s counter example argues for the possibility of two systems to have the same functional states which determines their functional equivalence. In addition to functional equivalence, the two systems have distinguishable mental states. If functionalism is as adequate account of mentality, then functional equivalence entails mental state equivalence. Block argues against the consequent of the previous conditional. Therefore, functional equivalence cannot be an adequate account of mentality.
Block’s first section discusses the evolution of functionalism from behavioral dispositions. Behaviorist identify mental states with dispositions. A mental state is identical when, given the same inputs the disposition toward a particular output in the same. Unlike functionalism, behaviorism recognizes dispositions according to merely outward behavior. Alternatively, a functional system includes a typical behavioral outputs given a range of inputs, as well as a tendency to experience a property of a mental state. Functionalists want to individuate mental states causally, but since mental states have mental effects, functionalist advance on behaviorism by acknowledging some similar input and output systems have similar descriptions without entailing similar mental effects. Functionalism, as an advancement of behaviorism, also describes the function of the mental state.
The Absent Qualia Argu...


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...s are functionally equivalent. If functionalism is true, then an arrangement of G-men could have a qualitative state. But, it is intuitively false an arrangement of unintelligent G-men could have a single mental state you would normally have. So, functionalism is false.
The general point behind the homunculi-head introduces consideration to the possibility of brain functions being done by parts which could not together be conscious. Functionalism requires only similar machine instructions which serve out a set of outputs given a set of inputs. Block’s counter arguments shows such an account of mental states is too liberal. One can meet this condition with parts whom cannot give rise to a single consciousness. Block attempts to replace the functional productivity of a brain with some equivalent functional system which is not productive of a qualitative mental state.

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