chapter  9
7 Pages

Summary, Loose Ends, Conclusions

ByBarbara Hannan

The mind-body problem is that of accounting for the presence of certain beings in the physical world: beings who are conscious selves and rational agents. Functionalism is often married to the computer model of the mind to yield computational theories of mind. Computationalists consider mental states to be analogous to the program states of a computer. Functionalism is an extension of logical behaviorism; functionalists identify mental properties with functional properties. The mind-brain supervenience thesis, like most philosophical theories, is really more a clarification of the problem than it is a solution to the problem. Many thinkers who have considered the issue have been tempted by reductive physicalist theories: theories that identify mental properties with particular physical properties. The brain state types hypothesized as being identical to mental state types might be very complex disjunctions of different physical states; reductive physicalism allows for so-called multiple realization of mental state types.