Authors
Alan Weir
University of Glasgow
Abstract
In this paper I highlight certain logical and metaphysical issues which arise in the characterisation of functionalism-in particular its ready coherence with a physicalist ontology, its structuralism and the impredicativity of functionalist specifications. I then utilise these points in an attempt to demonstrate fatal flaws in the functionalist programme. I argue that the brand of functionalism inspired by David Lewis fails to accommodate multiple realisability though such accommodation was vaunted as a key improvement over the identity theory. More standard accounts of functionalism allow, by contrast, for far too much multiple realisability. Specifically, functionalist structures will be massively reduplicated in the human brain; so functionalism yields the absurd consequence that each human harbours large numbers of minds and exemplifies virtually all mental states
Keywords Functionalism  Logic  Mental States  Metaphysics  Ontology  Lewis, D
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.0066-7372.2003.00031.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,219
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Rules and Representations.Noam A. Chomsky - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (127):1-61.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
Troubles with Functionalism.Ned Block - 1978 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9:261-325.
Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications.David K. Lewis - 1972 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):249-258.
How to Define Theoretical Terms.David Lewis - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (13):427-446.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Who’s Driving the Syntactic Engine?Emiliano Boccardi - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (1):23-50.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Is Role-Functionalism Committed to Epiphenomenalism?Brian P. McLaughlin - 2006 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (1-2):39-66.
Curse of the Qualia.Stephen L. White - 1986 - Synthese 68 (August):333-68.
Some Varieties of Functionalism.Sydney Shoemaker - 1981 - Philosophical Topics 12 (1):93-119.
The Failure of Lewis's Functionalism.Joseph Owens - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):159-73.
Mental States and Putnam's Functionalist Hypothesis.William G. Lycan - 1974 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 52 (1):48-62.
Empirical Functionalism and Conceivability Arguments.H. Jacoby - 1989 - Philosophical Psychology 2 (3):271-82.
A New Lilliputian Argument Against Machine Functionalism.William G. Lycan - 1979 - Philosophical Studies 35 (April):279-87.
Functionalism and Logical Analysis.Paul Livingston - 2005 - In David Woodruff Smith & Amie L. Thomasson (eds.), Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 19.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
104 ( #103,298 of 2,448,395 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #450,223 of 2,448,395 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes