Wide Functionalism

Gilbert Harman

in Reasoning, Meaning, and Mind

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238027
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597633 | DOI:
 Wide Functionalism

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Psychological explanation is a kind of functional explanation, like some biological explanation, where the relevant functions tend to have to do with perceiving and acting in relation to the environment. Pain serves as a kind of alarm system; perception allows an organism to get information about the environment etc. Although there are defenders of a narrow, more solipsistic psychological functionalism, the dominant trend has involved the wider version. In any event, the wider functionalism is clearly more plausible and methodological solipsism in psychology is incoherent.

Keywords: action; functionalism; methodological solipsism; perception; psychological explanation

Chapter.  3872 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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