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Functionalism (philosophy of mind)

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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.

History[change | change source]

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.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. Levin, Janet (2018). Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2018 ed.). Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.