Machine Functionalism

Machine Functionalism - Phi 340 Machine Functionalism...

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Phi 340 4-11-07 Machine Functionalism Machine Functionalism- the official title of the computer model of the mind. -Arises from ashes of Dualism and Functionalism-middle of these extremes - Behaviorisms problem was that the input and outputs are important but behaviorism did not consider what goes on in between. -Machine Functionalism- To define mental state processes must specify 3 elements. - (i) stimuli (inputs) that typically cause the mental state or process; (ii) cause and effect relationships that the given mental state or process typically has to  other mental states and processes ("functional role"); and (iii) responses (outputs) that the mental state or process typically causes. -2 important features of Functional definitions - First, there is 'indifference to material': neither definition says, "one must make  keys or  locks out of just the following material;" instead, "lock" and "key" are  functional notions -  locks  and keys are defined by what they do, not what they're  made out of. Naturally, t he definitions  place  some  constraints on materials. A key  made of butter or a lock made of ice won't do. - Second, these functional definitions form a (here, tiny) system of interlocking  concepts.  Each  concept's definition makes essential reference to the other concept.  It's not  possible to say  what a key is unless one also says what a lock is; either you  take the whole package, or you  get nothing at all. -Machine Functionalism, a given  mental state is defined by what is does as part of a system of  mental states,  and what it does is  to stand in a complex web of cause and effect relations  which it's  the job of its functional definition to specify.  How would Machine Functionalism define that same mental state? The three-part recipe would  yield something like this: (Pin Pricking) p is pin-prick pain =def p is typically caused by pin-pricks; p typically causes desire for  relief, belief that one is in pain, anxiety, . ..; and p typically causes wincing, withdrawal,  noise ("Ouch!") . ... -The full definition would take more words than in this whole book, or in most  libraries  since it really can't be given in isolation from the interlocking functional  definitions of all the other  implicated mental states.  -But why is it called " Machine  Functionalism?" How does the computer model come into play in  describing the complex web of relationships verbally specified in the functional definitions? "The basic idea of cognitive science is that 
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course PHI 340 taught by Professor Austin during the Spring '08 term at N.C. State.

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Machine Functionalism - Phi 340 Machine Functionalism...

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