Functionalism vs. Dualism and the Identity Theory

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Explain the functionalist view of mentality: Functionalism is "the physical realization of a functional component is not, in some sense, its essence. Rather, what makes a functional component the type it is, to be characterized in terms of its role in relating inputs to outputs and its relations to other functional components" (


A functionalist theory also might characterize as pain that tends to be caused by bodily injury, to let us believe that there is something is wrong with our body and because of this we tend to have to anxiety, and, in the absence of any stronger, conflicting desires, to cause crying or moaning. According to this theory, all and only creatures with internal states that meet these conditions, or play these roles, are capable of being in pain. With this in mind there are three senses of functionalism: (a) decompositional functionalim, (b) computation-representation functionalism, and (c) metaphysical functionalism. Decompositional functionalim is a study that relies on a system of decomposition into its components; the whole system is then explained in terms of these functional parts. Computation-representation functionalism relies heavily on the 'computer-as-mind' analogy. Metaphysical functionalism "is a theory of mind that hypothesizes that mental states simply are functional states. The metaphysical functionalist claims that mental states are the types of mental state they are because of the causal relations between inputs, outputs and other mental (i.e. ...
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