Functionalism: A Theoretical Analysis Of David Chalmers

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Theoretical Analysis

Functionalism is a philosophy of the mind that identifies thoughts, desires and reason as serving the sole purpose of a function of the body and not as some had previously though, as a means of internal reflection and constitution. The metal state is determined by a set of outside stimulus and reacts in a manner to compensate for such stimulus. This theory is a strategy to interpret behaviors and compare them to each other, not just to see what the behaviors are composed of. If the human behavior system is treated as a rational being, a pattern can be identified and we can predict what it will do next. This theory can be identified in multiple states of functionalism. The design state supposes …show more content…

Although it may appear to the Chinese-speaking people outside of the room that whoever is inside can speak Chinese, we are aware that he most certainly cannot. This system of input and output cannot explain reason or intentionality to what is taking place. Thought cannot be reduced to a set of syntactic rules on the mere basis of input/output algorithm without oversimplifying the entire process of the mind. Another important question comes up when discussing Functionalism, how can it account for the evolution of consciousness? A functional role for consciousness would have to be determined in order to explain its existence. This brings into question David Chalmers notion of the logical possibility of zombies. Chalmers’ notion of a philosophical zombie is a human being who exists without a consciousness. This being lives in a world parallel to the one we live in now in every single way, the conditions that brought this world into existence would be the same in both worlds but in one consciousness would appear and in the other it would …show more content…

It seems as though the human brain has the ability to develop consciousness, but it is not an inherent trait. This brings up the issue of nature vs nurture. It appears that although human nature at this point in its evolutionary state houses the ability for consciousness, it is not a prerequisite for humanness. Without a certain kind of nurturing and stimulation from other humans, consciousness will not necessarily appear on its own. The other possible physical outcome for the evolution of human consciousness my not be a reaction of a functional cause, but as proposed by Terrance McKenna, it could have been a complete accident. Although this theory is considered to be pseudo-science, the Stoned Ape Theory is a very interesting proposition that should be looked into more closely. This theory claims that during the early Homo erectus living in the shrinking tropical canopy of Africa were forced out of the cover of trees and into the open, thus creating a new diet of food. Including the possibility of Psilocybe cubensis, a mushroom with psychedelic properties that is known to grow on dung. The idea is that the one of the many effects of psilocybin, the stimulation of the language-forming region of the

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