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10377Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Hanging around

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  • Maurice McCarthy
    Mar 2, 2004
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      Ned Block (philosopher NYU) defines functionalism as the theory that
      "mental states are constituted by their causal relations to each
      other and to sensory inputs and behavioural outputs". He calls the
      scientific concept of kidney a function - it filters the blood. This
      lends itself well to the computer analogy in that the function is
      'software'. The mental is no longer identified with the physical but has
      a level of its own so that psychology has a content of its own divorced
      from the physical. Reductionism is out.

      I reckon that because 'causal' remains a physical notion for the
      functionalist then this is why they are attacked for no theory of the
      quality of the senses. Functionalism is a sort of hybrid
      realist-dynamist theory. They are sure to reject any proposal that
      concepts and ideas have an objective validity but will see them as
      linguistic description only (They use Wittgenstein's theory of meaning.)
      This is the battle to win through for a proper epistemology, that
      concepts have a formative influence. They put language as the generator
      of the conceptual. In terms of time they have a point but not in terms
      of explanation. Explanation has a priority in being.

      Maurice
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