Functionalism And Its Impact On Physical Body Essay

1934 Words8 Pages
In the philosophy of mind, there are many theories that try to resolve the mind-body problem. That is, how does the mental or consciousness interact with our physical body? Do they interact at all? Are they two separate entities or one in the same? Many theories try to answer these types of questions, but the one I will be focusing on is role functionalism. When mentioning functionalism throughout, I will be referring to role functionalism. Functionalism is a theory that says mental states can be defined by their function. So, we can identify mental states with their functional states. We can come to know the function of a mental state through examining its inputs, outputs, and relation to other mental states. I will show how this theory is correct by comparing it to the identity theory. I will begin by clarifying a few important terms in relation to functionalism, lay out the theory, and then present an objection. Lastly, I will present a possible functionalist reply to the objection and conclude. To begin, functionalism is a theory in the philosophy of mind that defines mental states through its inputs, outputs, and causal relation to other mental states, or its function (Jackson,4). The inputs are things you perceive in the world and the output is how you react or your behavior. A behaviorist is only concerned with inputs and outputs when defining mental states, whereas a functionalist takes it a step further. They also examine the casual relationship to other mental
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