Self-Consciousness and Reductive Functionalism

Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):1-21 (2017)
Abstract
It is argued that although George Bealer's influential ‘Self-Consciousness argument’ refutes standard versions of reductive functionalism (RF), it fails to generalize in the way Bealer supposes. To wit, he presupposes that any version of RF must take the content of ‘pain’ to be the property of being in pain (and so on), which is expressly rejected in independently motivated versions of conceptual role semantics (CRS). Accordingly, there are independently motivated versions of RF, incorporating CRS, which avoid Bealer's main type of refutation. I focus particularly on one such theory, which takes concepts to be event types that are individuated by their psychological roles, which has the resources of responding to each of the more specific worries Bealer expresses.
Keywords self-consciousness  functionalism  mind-body problem  Bealer  materialism  conceptual role semantics  inferentialism
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqw029
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