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EPM: Chs XIII & XIV Pete Mandik Chairman, Department of Philosophy Coordinator, Cognitive Science Laboratory William Paterson University, New Jersey USA.

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Presentation on theme: "EPM: Chs XIII & XIV Pete Mandik Chairman, Department of Philosophy Coordinator, Cognitive Science Laboratory William Paterson University, New Jersey USA."— Presentation transcript:

1 EPM: Chs XIII & XIV Pete Mandik Chairman, Department of Philosophy Coordinator, Cognitive Science Laboratory William Paterson University, New Jersey USA

2 2 Brief overview of the Philosophy of Mind Dualism (Two things: minds & bodies) Monism (One thing) Idealism (Only minds) Materialism (Only bodies) Behaviorism (Mental states = behaviors) Psychoneural Identity Theory (Mental states = brain states) Functionalism (Mental states = states that perform certain functions, not necessarily brain states)

3 3 Dualism Minds and Bodies are distinct objects: Minds are necessarily known and not spatial. Bodies are spatial and not necessarily known. Problems: 1. Utterly mysterious how minds and bodies could interact 2. Leads to skepticism about the external world

4 4 Idealism Nothing unknowable exists: only minds and mental states. The idea of material bodies is incoherent Problems: 1. It’s whacky 2. Also: Material concepts are prior to mental concepts (e.g. the concept of being a green physical object is prior to the concept of seeming like a green physical object)

5 5 Materialism 1: Behaviorism Mental state terms really just refer to bodily behaviors and dispositions toward bodily behaviors Problems: 1. There are an infinite # of behaviors that could arguably be associated with any particular mental state 2. Appeals to thoughts are supposed to constitute explanations of intelligent behaviors and cannot due so if they are merely code for intelligent behaviors

6 6 Materialism 2: Psychoneural identity theory Psychological state types are identical to neurophysiological state types Problems: 1. This might turn out to be a true scientific hypothesis, but it cannot be part of the meaning of psychological state words 2. Psychological state types are arguably multiply realizable: brainless robots and extraterrestrials may have thoughts and experiences

7 7 Materialism 3: Functionalism Psychological state terms are theoretical terms that may or may not be satisfied by neurophysiological state types. Psychological state terms are are satisfied by whatever plays the causal roles that relate an inner state to inputs, outputs, and other inner states.

8 8 Problems with functionalism? 1. If you really like the given, you won’t like the idea that mental states terms are theoretical. Get ready to spend the rest of your life as a dualist (ghosts! Boo!) or an idealist (only your mind exists! Hope your straightjacket is comfy). 2. If you don’t like analytic truths, the arguments for functionalism are going to be a lot less convincing and the successes so far of cognitive neuroscience much more impressive. Psychoneural identity theory is awesome. Only robots with brains will be robots with minds. (I’m not biased. Really!)

9 9 Ch XIII: THEORIES AND MODELS “Informally, to construct a theory is, in its most developed or sophisticated form, to postulate a domain of entities which behave in certain ways set down by the fundamental principles of the theory, and to correlate -- perhaps, in a certain sense to identify -- complexes of these theoretical entities with certain non-theoretical objects or situations; that is to say, with objects or situations which are either matters of observable fact or, in principle at least, describable in observational terms. This "correlation" or "identification" of theoretical with observational states of affairs is a tentative one "until further notice," and amounts, so to speak, to erecting temporary bridges which permit the passage from sentences in observational discourse to sentences in the theory, and vice versa. Thus, for example, in the kinetic theory of gases, empirical statements of the form "Gas g at such and such a place and time has such and such a volume, pressure, and temperature" are correlated with theoretical statements specifying certain statistical measures of populations of molecules. …a good theory (at least of the type we are considering) "explains" established empirical laws by deriving theoretical counterparts of these laws from a small set of postulates relating to unobserved entities.” pp 94-95

10 10 Two points: Point 1: “ the fundamental assumptions of a theory are usually developed …by attempting to find a model, i.e. to describe a domain of familiar objects behaving in familiar ways such that we can see how the phenomena to be explained would arise if they consisted of this sort of thing. The essential thing about a model is that it is accompanied, so to speak, by a commentary which qualifies or limits -- but not precisely nor in all respects -- the analogy between the familiar objects and the entities which are being introduced by the theory.” pp

11 11 Point 2: “…s cience is continuous with common sense, and the ways in which the scientist seeks to explain empirical phenomena are refinements of the ways in which plain men, however crudely and schematically, have attempted to understand their environment and their fellow men since the dawn of intelligence. It is this point which I wish to stress at the present time, for I am going to argue that the distinction between theoretical and observational discourse is involved in the logic of concepts pertaining to inner episodes.” pp

12 12 Ch XIV: METHODOLOGICAL VERSUS PHILOSOPHICAL BEHAVIORISM Methodoligical behaviorism: scientific view that all psychological theoretical terms should be introduced in terms of overt behavior Philosophical behaviorism (aka analytic behaviorism): philosophical view that psychological terms are not theoretical terms but pre-theoretical terms whose real meanings can be given in terms of behaviors

13 13 “The [methodological] behavioristic requirement that all concepts should be introduced in terms of a basic vocabulary pertaining to overt behavior is compatible with the idea that some behavioristic concepts are to be introduced as theoretical concepts.” p. 100

14 14 “ It is essential to note that the theoretical terms of a behavioristic psychology are not only not defined in terms of overt behavior, they are also not defined in terms of nerves, synapses, neural impulses, etc., etc. A behavioristic theory of behavior is not, as such, a physiological explanation of behavior. The ability of a framework of theoretical concepts and propositions successfully to explain behavioral phenomena is logically independent of the identification of these theoretical concepts with concepts of neurophysiology.” pp

15 15 “ while it is, I suppose, noncontroversial that when the total scientific picture of man and his behavior is in, it will involve some identification of concepts in behavior theory with concepts pertaining to the functioning of anatomical structures, it should not be assumed that behavior theory is committed ab initio to a physiological identification of all its concepts, -- that its concepts are, so to speak, physiological from the start.” p.101

16 16 THE END


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