Essay on Functionalism

820 Words 4 Pages
Functionalism agrees that brain states are responsible for mental states, but disagrees that they are identical with them. To do this, functionalists argue that neurological states or brain activity help to realize mental states, which then lead to behavior. This argument proposes that brain states are "low level" activities that help realize "high level" mental states.
To help understand this idea I will use the usual Functionalist example of a computer. Imagine that you ask a computer to add the numbers 3 and 7. On one level (the low level) what is happening in the computer is dependent on the hardware; on the other level (the high level) the computer's software is calculating the answer. The Functionalist argues
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In this way, the process of thinking would be comparable to a computer program that could run on different types of machine. Artificial Intelligence is the concept that it is possible for a machine to think. The two main types of AI are called strong and weak. Strong AI argues that it is possible that one day a computer will be invented which can be called a mind in the fullest sense of the word. In other words, it can think, reason, imagine, etc., and do all the things that we currently associate with the human brain. Weak AI, on the other hand, argues that computers can only appear to think and are not actually conscious in the same way as human brains are.
The English mathematician Alan Turing developed a test where he argued the question of artificial intelligence. The test is based on something called "The Imitation Game" in which three people, each in separate rooms, communicate by teletype (or some other mechanical means). Each of the three people has a specific role: one acts as an interrogator whose job it is to find out what sex the other two people are; the other two (one man and one woman) one whose role it is to answer honestly and the other to answer dishonestly. The interrogator must answer the interrogator's questions, one honestly and one dishonestly. Turing's version of this game involves replacing one of the people with a computer that has been programmed to deceive the interrogator. If, as with a human subject, the interrogator

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