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16 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
philosophy's role in cogsci
thinks about things we don't even know how to study yet
functionalism
- mental states are defined by their functional role: the relationships they hold to other mental states, sensory inputs, behavioral outputs

- these states can be instantiated in very different systems (silicon chip, brain, China's population)
mental state of a Turing machine
the state that it's in; the numbers displayed on the tape at a certain time. any state is related to states around it--which numbers might be overwritten.
psychofunctionalism
the Turing machine is too restrictive and can't simulate what happens in a brain. mental states should be associated with computational states (e.g. adding, subtracting numbers)
- what's important is not only the input/output relationship, but also the process between the two, their relationship to other mental states. this goes beyond behaviorism!
Chinese Room argument
asdf
Twin Earth idea (Putnam)
-everything everyone believes about water is the same functionally. water serves the same purpose and falls from the sky on both earths
-but since they're thinking about two different chemical compositions, are they in the same mental state?
Inverted Spectrum (Block)
- subjective experiences are switched for red and green
- doesn't have to do with the world, but with the mind. they have the same beliefs about colors, but the only difference is that they experience red differently
- two people can be functionally identical but be in two different mental states since they're seeing different colors
- a problem for functionalism because people seeing the same thing have different subjective experiences
Chinese Nation (Block)
- each person is one neuron
- when we stub our toe, we feel the qualia of pain, but no person in China feels pain. where did the pain, the qualia, go?
- it's unclear where subjectivity/conciousness fits into functionalism
-
conciousness, acc. to Thomas Nagel
- "what is it like" to be a bat?
- they have different sensory inputs and different interpretations of them
main argument against functionalism
functionalism focuses only on input/output of the mind and fails to take an individual's subjectivity into account.
- two people could be doing the exact same thing but they could be in different mental states
two problems for consciousness
1) how can the character of experience be expressed in computational terms? looks at inputs/outputs and changing states doesn't tell us about subjectivity
- people can have two different subjective experiences but functionally they're doing the same thing

2) how is subjectivity produced by an entirely physical system?
qualia response to problems for consciousness: how can the character of experience be expressed in computational terms?
1) subjective experiences and qualia shouldn't be a part of what we study in cognitive science. we can forget about qualia

- functionalize qualia: anything that has the functional role of creating pain will create pain. the reason we have the subjective experience for pain is because pain plays a role in stopping us from doing things, etc. so anything playing that role would give the same subjective experience associated with it

-maybe qualia aren't even necessary. we don't have knowledge of another person's qualia, yet we can still assign mental states to them. humans separate mental states from qualia since we don't know what the qualia are.
mathematical response to problems for consciousness: how can the character of experience be expressed in computational terms?
- use a model of the mind that's not a Turing machine. we'll compute with quantum states of particles
neuroscience response to problems for consciousness: how is subjectivity produced by an entirely physical system?
- brain damage, drugs both influence consciousness, so it can be studied
- but finding area of the brain where consciousness "is" hasn't been found. some say frontal lobe
studying consciousness: the timecourse of consciousness
- people are told to press a button at a time that they decide. there was an expected difference in time between the report of impulse and the button being pressed (neurons), but motor cortex was active much longer before the report of impulse
- maybe consciousness is brain activity above a certain threshold
mathematical response to problems for consciousness: how is subjectivity produced by an entirely physical system?
part of brain that does quantum computations?
-maybe microtubules in neurons are responsible for this