Functionalism And Its Impact On Society Essay

1570 Words Nov 30th, 2016 7 Pages
Functionalism is one of the most recent theories of mind, and as such, it has been a target of much criticism. While it is certain that functionalism is a theory that contains a number of flaws as a result of its contemporary nature, it is apparent that a lot of the criticisms it has received are misguided.
The modern theory of functionalism proposes that mental states of humans should be identified by the function that those mental states sever rather than the material composition. To demonstrate functionalism, pain is often used as an example. Suppose that pain is a mental state associated with bodily injury. If functionalism were true, then a creature with a completely different physical constitution could be in pain assuming it possessed similar mental states. To further support this analogy, the Martian Pain theory is often used. Functionalism has its roots in Behaviorism, a largely defunct
theory that proposed that the behavior of humans could be described by just the relation between external stimuli and the visible response. As more and more objections to behaviorism arose, functionalisms popularity increased.
With the introduction of computing to the scientific world in the 20 th century, funcionalism became the most popular alternative to the behaviorist and identity theories of mind.[1][2]
“The Turing Test” is a famous thought experiment that is often men- tioned when discussion the functional theory of mind. Described by famous computer scientist Alan Turing in…

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