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28 Cards in this Set

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What is functionalism? What is the functional role?
Functionalism is a system that attempts to explain the workings of the human mind. Functionalist theories define the internal workings of a system based on the interaction between input, the system’s internal states, and the output of the system, i.e. behavior. Functionalist theories can identify the state by describing the way it works in relation to the other internal states of the system.

Functionalists claim that a mind is characterized by having internal states that work in a way that will create a certain output in response to a certain input.

Functionalist theories can easily be applied to computers. Internal electronic states are programmed in order to connect to one another. When software or some other input is transferred to the computer, the internal states react with one another, resulting in output. If I transmit a signal from my keyboard into the computer, perhaps by typing in “5+3=”, then the computer’s internal states may react so that the printer spits out the number “8”. This computer metaphor corresponds to the way that the brain receives input which is transmitted to and reacts with various mental states. Further interactions between mental states give rise to the behavior that is referred to as output.

The functional role explains how a part of a system interacts with various other internal states in order to create an output from the given input (19-22).
What is a presupposition?
A presupposition is what is implicitly involved in making an assertion. It is a necessary condition for either the truth or falsity of the statement that presupposes it. (

Example- "Charlotte's daughter is very smart."

From this statement, the presupposition that can be taken is not necessarily that her daughter is smart, but that Charlotte has at least one daughter.
What is a necessary condition?
A necessary condition is one that must be satisfied in order to be classified as a certain thing. For example, the ability to think is a necessary condition for something to be called a mind. If an object lacks the ability to think, we cannot classify it as a mind or as having a mind.
What is the problem of other minds?
The problem of other minds is defined by the question "What justifies our belief that other minds exist?" It is one of the two major problems of the modern philosophy of the mind (the other being the mind-body problem), and is based on Descartes' epistemology.

Wittgenstein once stated an idea directly related to the problem of other minds: "But if I suppose that someone has a pain, then I am simply supposing that he has just the same as I have so often had." The problem of other minds is that we can never be fully sure that the sensation we are feeling (such as nerves before a test) is the same sensation another person claims to be feeling. A real life example of the problem of other minds is in the case of a psychologist diagnosing a patient with a certain mental illness. The psychologist can never be completely sure what is going on inside of the patient's mind.
Define the intentional stance
Suggested by American philosopher Daniel Dennett, the intentional stance is a strategy used to predict the behavior of someone or something. When we adopt the intentional stance, we predict what a particular person or thing would do if they had beliefs, desires and intentions, without ruling out the possibility that these beliefs, desires and emotions do not actually exist.
Example: An example of intentional stance would be describing a computer as "thinking" and "trying" while aware of the possibility that the machine cannot do either of these things.
What is a phenomenologist?
A phenomenologist is a philosopher who studies phenomenology. "Phenomenology" is the study of structures of consciousness or experience. Literally, it is the study of "phenomena," the appearances of things as experienced internally, rather than reality. The basis of an experience is its intentionality, its purposeful focus on or about some object.

Ex. Phenomenology poses problems for the functionalist model of mind. According to phenomenology, intentionality and consciousness are essential to having a mind. Brains produce mental states with the properties of intentionality and consciousness. Computers simulate, but do not have the mental states; therefore, computers do not have minds.
What is folk psychology?
Folk Psychology is the shared consensus of our culture about how minds work. It's the "theory" that we learn as we grow up that deals with our beliefs, desires, evidence, and actions. Folk psychology is used commonly when we predict or attempt to explain the reasons behind our behavior or the behavior of others.

We use folk psychology the same way we say the sun goes up and down. We know our description is not strictly accurate, since it's the earth that is rotating, but our meaning is commonly understood and our point is communicated.

Stephen Stich suggests that folk psychology may be entirely wrong by stating that it isn’t enough to have internal states that lead you to respond in the right way, you must also have a conscious mental life, but Daniel Dennet advocates we use the intentional stance, the level of thinking where we are concerned with our intentions, thoughts and beliefs, anyway, where it is an essential part of the regularities of human behavior, regardless of its accuracy.

(pp. 26-28)
Define verificationism.
Verificationism is the view that if no amount of evidence could decide an issue (whether or not a particular state of affairs obtains in the world), there is no real issue.

Verificationists state their position using declarative sentences that state how the person who says them believes the world to be. Verificationists support that it is only the things that people are capable of detecting that makes up a meaningful reality. The verification principal is not that you or I must find evidence right now, but that it is possible for “someone, somewhere, sometime” to gather evidence contrary to or supporting every declarative sentence.
What is an Epistemologist?
An epistemologist is someone who asks philosophical questions about what and how we know. They believe that a person is shown to have a mind because of the things they say and do.

Following the epistemologist’s point of view, the evidence supporting that humans have minds also supports that machines have minds.
What is Psychophysical Parallelism?
The concept that there are parallel material and mental realms which do not have any causal interaction.

This is in contrast of the idea of dualist interactionism in which the body and mind are seperate, but they interact with each other.
What is a behaviorist?
A behaviorist is someone who believes that having a mind is characterized by exhibiting certain behavior in response to input. Behaviorists look at things from the outside and utilize the evidence of something's actions or behavior to come to a conclusion about its state.

For example, a behaviorist might argue that a robot that acts exactly the same way as your mother does is actually no different than your mother. There is no behavioral evidence to support the idea that your mother is fundamentally different from the robot, since the robot is capable of the exact same gestures, words and actions.

1. A Behaviorist view is based upon obervations.EX: If a mechanical cat was made to act exactly like a real cat, then in the behaviorist view, the mechanical cat and the real cat are the same. The behaviorist would look at the observable behavior to make this conclusion, not the interworkings of either cat.
2. Behaviorists consider the 'mind' as a black box; Input simply goes in and the output is the responding/observable behavior.
What is Monism?
Monism is the view that reality consists of only one thing (i.e. matter). This view solves Descartes' problem by making the mind and body made of the same material. In Monism, beliefs are made of the same thing as elephants, and dreams are made of the same things as earthquakes.

This contrasts with Descartes' view of the mind and body, which is that the mind and body are made of separate materials. However, Monism solves the problem of interaction, because if the mind and body are made of the same materials, they can causually interact with each other. For example, a mental desire can directly cause a physical action.
What is a mentalist?
The mentalist belief is that one can only have the capability to understand if one possesses a mind.

In the debate over whether or not a machine can comprehend, the mentalist represents one extreme end of the spectrum, the other which is occupied by the behaviorist. To the mentalist, a machine cannot understand because when it is created by humans, it is not given a conscious mind but rather silicon chips and programs.
Define Interactionism.
Interactionism can be described as the theoretical supposition that the "mind" and the "body" interact (communicate, collaborate, interface, interreact...) in separate and different ways in response to the two fundamental types of events: physical and mental. These reactions are interrelated. To act on this theory one must suppose that the body and the mind are separate (but related) entities. The problem with interactionism is that there are no actions in space that do not have a cause. The mind cannot live without a body and vice versa.
What is Hobbes' "Private Language" theory?
The “private language” theory was developed by Thomas Hobbes in order to explain the way in which humans catalogue and recall their “private experiences”; mental experiences that cannot be described in words and thus are subjective. Rather than describing such experiences, states Hobbes, people upon experiencing them “mark” them with words, with each experience having its own mark that allows the subject to recall that he or she has felt it before.

From an epistemological point of view, this means that one does not have to be able to explain "private experiences" to other in order to know them; one can know something internally, without any outside verification or justification.
Define Cartesian
Cartesian is dervied from "Descartes". It generally refers to the philosophies, thoughts, or methods of Rene Descartes.
Define "Infinite Regress"
An infinite regress argument automatically creates a new problem for every solution that is proposed, preventing progress.
What is the mind-body problem?
The problem describing the interaction of the mind and body (or brain).
Explain Wittgenstein's concept of language games.
This is a concept of how humans use and develop language. Wittenstein argues that the way we speak follows an informal set of rules that govern how words or phrases are used. One conclusion that he makes about language games is that the notion of following a rule is only possible when it is possible to check if the rule is being followed correctly. Wittenstein calls this test a “criterion of correctness.” This process involves a verbal pattern of language that can be transmitted and understood from one person to another.
Begging the question
Begging the question, also called circular reasoning or a vicious cycle, is a conclusion that assumes the truth of an argument in a premise.

Ex: "I know that Jesus was the Son of God because he said he was, and the Son of God would not lie." The speaker is begging the question because he is assuming the very thing he is supposed to be proving - namely that Jesus was the Son of God.
What is Descartes' Problem?
The apparent conflict between a) the fact that mind and matter do seem to interact causally, and b) Descartes’ claim that the mind is not in space. Descartes main philosophical tenant was that our mind and conscious thought prove our existence. He also believed that the mind and the body were completely separate entities (a belief called Dualism). Therefore, Descartes’ problem is “What is the connection between the mind and the brain/body?”

Questions that stem from this inquiry include: “Where is the mind located, and how do we use it to perceive our surroundings? Do your thoughts take up space? Do thoughts exist physically or have a physical manifestation?”
More examples of "begging the question".
"I know that he's not a liar because he says that he is telling the truth."

This is begging the question, or circular reasoning, because it assumes that "he" is telling the truth about not being a liar.

"I know that I know X because I know what I know."

This is begging the question because the statement assumes that the speaker has a full knowledge of what s/he knows.
What is a Dualist?
Dualist is a term used to identify people who adhere to the idea that mind and matter are separate entities or phenomena. Descartes is a dualist.
An example of how dualist thought is relevant to today is when dealing with issues like abortion; in which a strict dualist may argue that abortion does not actually kill the child, but only the body because the mind and essence of the child is separate and thus not harmed.
What is a sufficient condition?
A sufficient condition is one that ensures the certainty of a result, whereas a necessary condition MUST happen for the result. For example, sleeping is necessary for life, without it you would die. However, sleeping alone is not sufficient for life, you also need to breathe, etc.
Functionally Equivalent.
Something is considered functionally equivalent when a robot is built to have internal states "that function like a (human) mind".
Ex. David, a child robot in the movie AI, would be considered almost/nearly functionally equivalent to a young human boy. David is built to have internal states that are very similar to those of a human boy.

See: Fuctionalism
Who is Frank Ramsey and why is his idea of ‘Ramsey Sentences’ important?
Frank Ramsey is a British philosopher and is recognized for his idea of ‘Ramsey Sentences.’ The concept begins by writing down all of the claims about beliefs and desires, including any evidence and action that we think have to be satisfied by a creature that has a mind. We can connect the claims with “and’s” to make one very long sentence. Mental terms about beliefs or desires are replaced with “variables.” This new sentence is called the Ramsey sentence, free from any mental terms.

Example: If we define pain through Ramsey’s method, we can say that pain, x, is caused by bodily injury, it tends to make someone believe that something is wrong with the body, y, and the desire to be out of that state, z, it produces anxiety, w, and it produces wincing or moaning. Therefore, x tends to be caused by bodily injury & x tends to produce states y, z, and w & x tend to produce wincing or moaning.

What does Appiah mean by 'the puzzle of the physical? (Why is it so difficult to think of the mind as matter?)
The puzzle of the physical is Appiah's phrase for describing the complexities involved in attributing the diverse array of 'mental states', i.e. consciousness, to matter. Descartes states that the mind and body are completely independent, and that the mind can exist without the body. Our mind and our thoughts are what we know best, and according to Descartes’ philosophy, we are “unable to become aware of anything else, including other minds” (Appiah, 6). Descartes also explains that the mind does not take up space, is not material. We cannot locate our thoughts or view them.
This is what makes Descartes’ idea so difficult to accept. We cannot touch the mind/our thoughts nor analyze them or run tests on them. We know that matter has laws that it follows, developed by physicists, yet the mind gives rise to new experiences every day. There may, in fact, be a mistake in thinking that a single theory could be constructed to answer this question of the mind. “If minds appear in the world through evolution in material organisms, then one of the facts about matter that needs explaining is that it can produce all the many diverse phenomena that we call ‘the mind’”(Appiah, 38).
Define "Philosphy of Mind."
Philosophy of Mind deals with the nature of the mind and its properties and functions.

Dualism, Monism, and the Mind Body Problem are all key issues in this philosophy.

The philosophy studies all asects of mental properties and functions, and how they relate to the body