Rowland Stout

in The Inner Life of a Rational Agent

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623433
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652501 | DOI:

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This chapter introduces functionalism – the supposed successor to behaviourism in the philosophy of mind. Developed by Hilary Putnam, David Lewis and others in the 1960s and 1970s, functionalism was supposed to retain the best aspects of behaviourism and yet, by having a different approach to the causal role of mental states and a different holistic approach to interpretation, was supposed to be a major improvement. It is argued that functionalism should work with a normative conception of a theory of behaviour. The way functionalism is structured means that it cannot get the relation between norms, mental states and behaviour right.

Keywords: functionalism; philosophy of mind; behaviourism

Chapter.  8779 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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