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Psychology

Justin Schwartz

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Who's Afraid Of Multiple Realizability?: Functionalism, Reductionism, And Connectionism, Justin Schwartz Dec 1991

Who's Afraid Of Multiple Realizability?: Functionalism, Reductionism, And Connectionism, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Philosophers have argued that on the prevailing theory of mind, functionalism, the fact that mental states are multiply realizable or can be instantiated in a variety of different physical forms, at least in principle, shows that materialism or physical is probably false. A similar argument rejects the relevance to psychology of connectionism, which holds that mental states are embodied and and constituted by connectionist neural networks. These arguments, I argue, fall before reductios ad absurdam, proving too much -- they apply as well to genes, which are multiply realizable, but the reduction of which to DNA is one the core cases ...