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Functionalism is one of the many different theories of the mind and how to categorize its workings Functionalism is a view or doctrine that proposes mental states are functional states Functional states are defined in terms of what something does rather than what it is made of For example computers are made of many different things such as wiring processors screens modems etc However when we think of a computer we think of the things or functions they perform like word processing Internet connections and mathematical calculations Functions are best defined in terms of an imaginary box which receives an input and processes it to return a specific output Our brains receive various inputs through our five senses and in turn produce an output According to functionalism anything that performs the same functions as the brain has a mind Functionalism also states that having a brain is not a necessary condition for having a mind In the movie The Matrix Agent Smith w hom is a computer program existing within the Matrix displays many of the same characteristic functions that are associated with the brain and human activities and therefore according to functionalism has a mindheilch1 The source of all forms of contemporary hard materialism is behaviourism which identifies mental states with facts about how people are disposed to respond to external stimuli The essence of mind is not therefore something private to the subject but something public and observable a logical product of the relation of stimulus to response Two fundamental problems plague behaviourism A phenomenological objection is that we can supposedly tell just from being conscious that experience is more than a mere disposition to behave A formal objection is that one cannot give necessary and sufficient conditions for being in a given mental state solely in terms of stimulus and response Behaviourists treated the brain as a black box about which the psychologist must not speculate but the interdependence of our
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