Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.649900
Title: In praise of wider functionalism or for more matter in mind
Author: Edwards, James Stephen
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1987
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Abstract:
The premiss of this thesis is naturalism: viz., that psychological facts, whilst not reducible to, are determined by, physical facts. Pace Davidson's anomalism of the mental, the Author argues that token-token psycho-physical identity presupposes that the inferential inter-relations between psychological states are projectably mirrored by physical dispositional relations between those states. The Author aims to regiment our folk-psychological explanations because, he argues, we have warrant to apply the conceptual contents of our self-applied indices to the states so indexed, rather than treating those conceptual contents merely as indices of internal states. That warrant arises from the determinate conceptual content of our home language - pace the well-known arguments of Quine, Putnam and Davidson. The Author also aims to show that only a functional system wide enough to include the objects which we perceive and manipulate can generate those conceptual contents, not a narrow functional system which terminates at or before the bodily envelope. Field's subjective semantics for classical logic are used to show that narrow functionalism cannot account for the sense of 'exists', nor, adapting work of Hintikka and Rantala, for our quantifier rules, and narrow functionalism leads to brute psycho-physical correlations between sensational properties and inner physical states. Fodor's formality condition does not preclude mental operations having access to the semantic contents of mental states. And the Author argues for a wider functionalism which is blind to the particular identities and differences of res, but is not blind to their observable properties. The Author develops an account of quantifying into attitudes and quasi-binding variables in content clauses without inducing transparency, thus enabling individual attitudes to be linked up and mutually oriented in action explaining complexes. Such quantification is extensionally defined so as to fit an otherwise standard truth definition. (Kripke's puzzle about Pierre's beliefs is thereby solved.) The Author shows how any individual episode in a person's psychological history can be treated narrowly, as an hallucination, without explanatory loss, but provided enough of his episodes are explained widely, quantifying over res, sufficiently to account for the conceptual contents of all episodes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.649900  DOI: Not available
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