Functionalism

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)
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Abstract

Functionalism in the philosophy of mind is the doctrine that what makes something a mental state of a particular type does not depend on its internal constitution, but rather on the way it functions, or the role it plays, in the system of which it is a part. This doctrine is rooted in Aristotle's conception of the soul, and has antecedents in Hobbes's conception of the mind as a “calculating machine”, but it has become fully articulated (and popularly endorsed) only in the last third of the 20th century. Though the term ‘functionalism’ is used to designate a variety of positions in a variety of other disciplines, including psychology, sociology, economics, and architecture, this entry focuses exclusively on functionalism as a philosophical thesis about the nature of mental states

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Janet Levin
University of Southern California

Citations of this work

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References found in this work

Thinking, Fast and Slow.Daniel Kahneman - 2011 - New York: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].
The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.

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