Behaviorism, Functionalism And The Identity Theory

1134 words - 5 pages

“The universe contains only material or physical entities”, this is what materialism holds. However, the greatest challenge that goes to materialists is that of offering a plausible account of mind in a purely physical term. Therefore, some seductive analysis of mind with pure physical explanation of mental status must be suggested by materialists. There are three main theories that have been formulated to explain these scenarios.
These theories include behaviorism, functionalism and the identity theory. Like in behaviorism the theory attempts to reduce mental states into real facts about behavioral dispositions. In functionalism, which is a more complex theory, particular functional roles and mental states are identified by these functionalists. They therefore deduce that, any state responsible for an appropriate functional role is considered as a mental state; therefore, the possibility of mind is realized in substance like artificial intelligence. Lastly, the mind brain identity theory which is mostly applied by the modern materialist’s deals with the state of the brain in trying to consider some physical states associated with the mental state. The main idea in this case is that mind and brain is one and the same thing.
Behaviorism theory
This theory attempts has been considered to reduce the state of mentality into behavior. The states of the mind are nothing other than behavioral dispositions, this is according to the theory. This can best be illustrated by circumstances whereby one accompanies him or herself with an umbrella, or remove clothes from the line, or even seek shelter just on the belief that it is raining, thus, the two situations are identical.
One of the setbacks with the theory is that distinctions involving pretence states of the mind and real mental states are not well elaborate. This is attributed to the fact that both mental states are involving behavioral dispositions. Besides, there seems to be a genuine difference with pretence, which has never been a consideration for behaviorism. Zombies and Super-Spartans are the two thought experiments that have been designed cut a clear difference between behavioral dispositions and mentality. Super-Spartans illustrates beings with identical states of mind to ours, but only lacking the behavioral depositions. On the other hand, Zombies are beings with similar behavioral depositions to ours. In summary, behaviorism remains one of the pretty undefended theories but will forever maintain its position historically in its significant involvement in the development of mind philosophy.
Functionalism theory
Mental state is defined by its function; this is according to the theory of functionalism, there occurs a functional role that is responsible for defining any mental state. Using the same example as in the theory of behaviorism, the belief that it is raining is defined as a state that makes one, either remove clothing from the line or arm his or herself with an umbrella while...

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