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The Inner Life of a Rational AgentIn Defence of Philosophical Behaviourism$
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Rowland Stout

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623433

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623433.001.0001

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Functionalism

Functionalism

Chapter:
(p.37) 3 Functionalism
Source:
The Inner Life of a Rational Agent
Author(s):

Rowland Stout

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623433.003.0003

This chapter introduces functionalism – the supposed successor to behaviourism in the philosophy of mind. Developed by Hilary Putnam, David Lewis and others in the 1960s and 1970s, functionalism was supposed to retain the best aspects of behaviourism and yet, by having a different approach to the causal role of mental states and a different holistic approach to interpretation, was supposed to be a major improvement. It is argued that functionalism should work with a normative conception of a theory of behaviour. The way functionalism is structured means that it cannot get the relation between norms, mental states and behaviour right.

Keywords:   functionalism, philosophy of mind, behaviourism

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