Functionalism Essay

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Functionalism is a materialist stance in the philosophy of mind that argues that mental states are purely functional, and thus categorized by their input and output associations and causes, rather than by the physical makeup that constitutes its parts. In this manner, functionalism argues that as long as something operates as a conscious entity, then it is conscious. Block describes functionalism, discusses its inherent dilemmas, and then discusses a more scientifically-driven counter solution called psychofunctionalism and its failings as well. Although Block’s assertions are cogent and well-presented, the psychofunctionalist is able to provide counterarguments to support his viewpoint against Block’s criticisms. I shall argue that though …show more content…
211). When sensory data is input into the human body, a certain behavior occurs as a result of the data in the form of output. These states work like operable vending machines, with all behaviors explainable to the lowest mechanical degree. Block asserts that all mental states are characterized by a disposition to behave in a particular manner and also, when provided with specific sensual inputs and mental states, contain certain mental states (Block, pg. 211). Though on the surface functionalism appears to be a plausible explanation to the question of mental states, Block finds some problematic obstructions with the theory that contribute to its liberalism and make it possible for certain arrangements to be attributed with consciousness when society intuitively knows that is not the case. Functionalism describes mental states through corporal conditions of inputs and outputs rather than internal conditions (Block, pg. 212). In categorizing them this way, examples such as the Chinese nation become feasibly conscious entities.
In turn, Block describes psychofunctionalism as a developed alternative to liberalistic functionalism that attempts to solve the question of mental states by characterizing causes, inputs and outputs using scientific rather than folk psychology. Standard psychofunctionalism describes inputs and outputs as explicitly regarding

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