What's wrong with functionalism?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Griffin
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Re: What's wrong with functionalism?

Post by Griffin » February 8th, 2018, 4:28 pm

Namelesss wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 10:33 pm
Griffin wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 1:55 pm


An acquaintance of mine is currently dying of a brain tumour. As the tumour grows, she is progressively being robbed of the abilities she used to have that depend on her consciousness, such as the ability to concentrate, the ability to construct coherent sentences, etc.. This is evidence that her brain has hitherto been manufacturing her consciousness,
Nonsense, and a non-sequitur fallacy.
It can't be a fallacy, because it is neither a belief nor a logical argument. It's merely a presentation of evidence.
Because you alter the parameters of a measuring device does not speak to the device nor to any differences in the perceived results after altering the context of the moment.
No-one is altering any device in the example I gave.
All moments are unique.
Vague to the point of meaninglessness.
We perceive differently when an infant as opposed to a teenager.
Entirely irrelevant to the point I was making.
Reality didn't 'change',
Try telling that to my acquaintance whose reality has changed to the point where it is killing her.


Consciousness cannot be 'defective', and has never been shown to be so.
I have personal experience of it. So do you. When you wake up slowly and are groggy and confused, that is defective consciousness.
Once more; materialism/physicalism is a long obsolete theory, gone with the 'objective observer' and such idealistic and 'street obvious' theories.
Where did I say I was a materialist or physicalist? Actually I'm a mysterian.

Namelesss
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Re: What's wrong with functionalism?

Post by Namelesss » February 8th, 2018, 10:01 pm

Griffin wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 4:28 pm
Namelesss wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 10:33 pm

Nonsense, and a non-sequitur fallacy.
It can't be a fallacy, because it is neither a belief nor a logical argument. It's merely a presentation of evidence
Yes it is a non-sequitur fallacy. Look it up.
You attribute 'conclusions' to premises that have no such connection, no matter how you might present it.

Because you alter the parameters of a measuring device does not speak to the device nor to any differences in the perceived results after altering the context of the moment.
No-one is altering any device in the example I gave.[/quote]
This seems to be futile.
A different moment, a different Perspective, will present a different view of Reality!
It matters not a whit whether the Perspective is 'dosed on LSD' or tumors or drunk or sober or is merely a Perspective in deep space, all are unique, all perceive the One unchanging, ALL inclusive Reality/Truth!
All moments are unique.
Vague to the point of meaninglessness.
If you find difficulty in understanding what I offer, simply, honestly, request elucidation. I'm happy to offer it when respectfully and honestly requested.
Your response to the truth that I offered seems to indicate that you'd be more comfortable dismissing it than understanding.
No problem...

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Consul
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Re: What's wrong with functionalism?

Post by Consul » February 9th, 2018, 11:25 am

Namelesss wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 10:33 pm
Once more; materialism/physicalism is a long obsolete theory, gone with the 'objective observer' and such idealistic and 'street obvious' theories.
You're so funny! :wink:
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

Namelesss
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Re: What's wrong with functionalism?

Post by Namelesss » February 9th, 2018, 10:51 pm

Consul wrote:
February 9th, 2018, 11:25 am
Namelesss wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 10:33 pm
Once more; materialism/physicalism is a long obsolete theory, gone with the 'objective observer' and such idealistic and 'street obvious' theories.
You're so funny! :wink:
The world needs more laughter!
Carry on! *__-

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Mosesquine
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Re: What's wrong with functionalism?

Post by Mosesquine » February 19th, 2018, 5:08 am

Functionalism, invented mostly by Hilary Putnam, is a theory for empirical confirmation. So, it's not a explaining theory, but a theory of pragmatism. In other words, functionalism is not a theory of which explains what the nature of mind really-naturally is, but a theory of which we *can use* functional insights to *manipulate* many things.

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Griffin
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Re: What's wrong with functionalism?

Post by Griffin » February 20th, 2018, 8:14 am

JamesOfSeattle wrote:
February 5th, 2018, 12:11 am
You want an explanation of why something that feels like something feels like something, to which my answer is: it couldn't not.
I have tried thinking along these lines, but it doesn't work. Consider looking at a red object. In a functionalist mood, you perhaps think something like this: 'it has to have some appearance because I am seeing it, and since it has a surface, I can't see it without that surface presenting some specific appearance to me'. But this leaves two hard questions unanswered:

(1) Why does it have the appearance that I know as red, rather than the appearance I know as green or blue or yellow? A scientist would say 'because light at that particular wavelength triggers a reaction in this particular area of your brain, rather than the areas associated with those other colours'. But that just raises the question: why does stimulating this area of my brain produce the experience of seeing the colour I know as red, and stimulating this other area produce the experience of seeing the colour I know as green? Why not the other way round?

(2) Why should I have the subjective experience of seeing a coloured surface at all? Wouldn't my brain work perfectly well without it, simply by reacting electrochemically to the light reflected from the object? In other words, why am I not a zombie?

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Griffin
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Re: What's wrong with functionalism?

Post by Griffin » February 20th, 2018, 5:08 pm

Namelesss wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 10:01 pm
Griffin wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 4:28 pm


It can't be a fallacy, because it is neither a belief nor a logical argument. It's merely a presentation of evidence
Yes it is a non-sequitur fallacy. Look it up.
You attribute 'conclusions' to premises that have no such connection, no matter how you might present it.
You are quite wrong. Only a logical argument can be a non sequitur, and I stated quite clearly that I was presenting evidence in support of a conclusion, not a logical argument that purports to prove it. The support that is provided by evidence may be weak or strong (look up 'evidence' in Wikipedia), and since I did not say how strong I considered the evidence to be, you are not entitled to interpret my words as meaning that I considered that the evidence proved the truth of the conclusion. In fact I do not consider it to be strong enough for that.

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JamesOfSeattle
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Re: What's wrong with functionalism?

Post by JamesOfSeattle » February 20th, 2018, 8:12 pm

Griffin wrote:
February 20th, 2018, 8:14 am
(1) Why does it have the appearance that I know as red, rather than the appearance I know as green or blue or yellow?
Because your functional organization says that particular input comes from a red source (because it got to you be triggering the red photoreceptors). That particular input only ever gets presented when there is something red. Blue sources cause a different input to happen.
But that just raises the question: why does stimulating this area of my brain produce the experience of seeing the colour I know as red, and stimulating this other area produce the experience of seeing the colour I know as green? Why not the other way round?
Because that's how you are wired. If you switch the wiring (from the beginning), then there would be no difference. You would still experience red as red and green as green. The functional "you" would know the difference between red and green, but doesn't know how it knows the difference.
(2) Why should I have the subjective experience of seeing a coloured surface at all? Wouldn't my brain work perfectly well without it, simply by reacting electrochemically to the light reflected from the object? In other words, why am I not a zombie?
Because every event of the type input->agent->output that can be described functionally can be described from the functional perspective. That's what the subjective experience is. If your brain is reacting to the light in a functional way, that reaction has a functional description, and so it has a subjective experience. So if your brain is working "well", it is processing information according to its functional organization, so it necessarily is generating functional experiences. You can't have one without the other. Thus, no zombies.

*

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