This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Mental States Essay

1306 words - 5 pages

Upon discovering that my friend, Roberta, has an extremely complex digital computer in her head I was perplexed as to whether Roberta has mental states. Under the assumption that in order to have mental states she must be have perception, sensations, emotions, beliefs, thoughts, purposes, desires, as well as a conscious self-awareness, and free-will, I came to the conclusion that Roberta does not posses mental states. Through the process of explaining my initial misconceptions concerning Roberta followed by her doctors arguments concerning her lack of a brain, inability to comprehend language, and to make independent decisions I will attempt to illustrate that she does not have mental states. Through her convincing imitation of human behavior, Roberta managed to fool me into thinking she was human. In conversation she not only discussed relevant topics, but also responded to me with appropriate answers in a feasible amount of time. For instance when talking about math, she appeared to struggle with difficult equations instead of finding immediate solutions as a calculator would. Since Roberta talked about her own preferences, decisions, opinion, ambitions, beliefs, and desires I assumed that she was capable of form these things. However her success in convincing me that she was human and had mental states does not entail that this was true. Since I could only observe Roberta's behavior and was unaware of the causes behind it my judgements were fallible. At this stage a methodological behaviorist would argue that Roberta's behavior is all that a second person, could know about her and therefore it does not make sense for me to discuss her inner states. Although at first this was the case, now that Roberta has been released from the hospital the cause and not just the effects of her behavior are known. An analysis of Roberta's inner states is made possible through the knowledge that her skull is filled by a digital computer that is programmed to control her movements. (356-357). The doctor that treated Roberta argued that her lack of a brain entails a lack of a mind, which is an essential factor to the possession of mental states. Therefore she is does not have any feelings, beliefs, or preferences. Armstrong's identity theory supports this statement through its claim that the mind is the cause of behavior. However, unlike the doctor this account for mental states is founded upon the belief that the mind is equal to the brain. This claim supports the idea that because Roberta does not have a brain, she does not have a mind. Meaning a person's mental states is identical to their physical brain states. This claim is problematic because even between human brains it does not hold true. In contrast, human brains vary widely in their task structure and organization and each individual brain can change over time. Although computers share this wide variation in how they are programmed to function, Roberta's computer lacks the ability to...

Find Another Essay On Mental States

What is Mental Illness? Essay

2087 words - 8 pages ones that can have mental disorders. Children can have mental disorders as well. According to “ The US Surgeon General reports that 10 percent of children and adolescents in the united states suffer from serious emotional and mental disorders that cause significant functional impairment in their day to day lives at home, in, and with peers” . Common mental disorders among children are behavior disorders like ADHD, anxiety disorders, and

Behaviorism, Functionalism and the Identity Theory

1134 words - 5 pages 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

Final exam essay

1024 words - 5 pages least three weeks (CAMH, 2008). Studies have shown that mental illness takes many forms such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, addictions and substance dependence which vary from mild to severe depending on the type of mental illness, the individual, the family and the socioeconomic environment (Government of Canada, 2012).Vast majority of research conducted both in Canada and the United States has estimated

Individuals with Mental Illness

1836 words - 8 pages To further focus on individuals, Cleary states that “taking an open approach means that patients and their families would appreciate that they are not alone. With strong support from healthcare professionals, they would be better placed to build up the courage and confidence required for managing the illness and associated difficulties” (49). This requires healthcare professionals to play a large role in reducing the stigma of mental illness

Is There a Relationship Betwen Mental Health and Homeless?

2393 words - 10 pages people become homeless. The World Health Organization (WHO 2013) defines mental illness as “a psychological or behavioral pattern that someone experiences which causes them distress or disability.” Folsom et al., (2005) states that, mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions such as disorders that affect the mood, thinking and behavior with examples of mental illness including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia

‘Only the type-identity theory can secure the causal efficacy of the mental’ Discuss - University of Nottingham Philosophy Undergraduate First Year - Essay

1513 words - 7 pages as they are regarded as numerically identical. The Identity Theory can henceforth be used as an argument for physicalism as mental and physical states are regarded as one. One can use Princess Elizabeth’s Challenge to Cartesian Dualism argument to argue for the Identity Theory as a form of physicalism. Her argument is that mental states can cause physical effects in the same way that they physical states can. Seeing as how the physical effects of

The Media’s Stigma and Glamorization Surrounding Mental Illness

1114 words - 5 pages Mental illness describes a condition which causes serious disorder in a person’s behaviour or thinking. Stigma describes a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality or person. The media’s misrepresentation of mental illness has led to a rise in the glamorization and prejudice surrounding mental wellbeing, because popular retail stores have glamorized mental illness, people do not know how to react when they find out

this is a college paper on MENTAL ILLNESS AS A SOCIAL PROBLEM

3886 words - 16 pages rejection or the stigma that comes with being diagnosed from illness, as if their illness was their own fault.Statistics of Mental IllnessThe most common forms of mental problem in the United States are panic attacks and phobias. Phobias include severe fears such as fear of going outside, fear of heights, or enclosed spaces. It is estimated that about 20 million Americans suffer from panic attacks or phobias in any given year. Another 18 million

The importance of mental health in america

1190 words - 5 pages help impede shootings, reduce the amount suicides in the United States, and help former veterans who served for our country. Majority of the shooters today are almost always diagnosed with a mental health issue but never received proper help for it thus resulting in them going off and committing a dangerous act. The main issues that need to be addressed are the lack of reforms for mental health, the positive effects these reforms have on society

Mental Illness and Homelessness

773 words - 4 pages variety of problems. In fact, mental illness can be known to cause academic problems, poverty, incarceration, and additional health problems (“Module 1”). Homelessness is another possible consequence (Harvard Mental Health Letter). Over three million people are homeless in the United States every year (“Overview of Homelessness”). At least a quarter of those homeless suffer from a mental illness (Harvard Mental Health Letter). Many of the mentally ill

Mental Poverty: The degradation of the mental health in America

2182 words - 9 pages In the United States mental health is avoided by political and societal elites. Mental health should be a priority to combat the cyclical nature of poverty, drug addiction, and mental illness. The underprivileged are disproportionately affected by mental illnesses. Due to the Affordable Care Act, states are in a position to expand Medicaid and thus mental healthcare to those that need it most. Without the support of state legislatures though

Similar Essays

Mental States And The Brain Essay

1573 words - 6 pages In this paper, I will argue that ‘It is more reasonable to think that the patient has mental states’ and will attempt to tackle the points made by each of the doctors to reach a more suitable and apt conclusion on how the mental states relate and associate with the presence/absence of the patients brain. My aim for this paper is to explain how a patient with an inorganic brain i.e. a digital computer in place for the original brain, who

The United States’ Lack Of Mental Health Care

1913 words - 8 pages equal to what the United States gives the physically ill. Even though research has advanced immensely in the understanding of sanity vs. insanity, the United States needs to do more for those who are mentally ill through diagnosis and aid. “Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior” (Mayo Clinic). Mental disorders can happen many times through one’s life, but

Mental Illness In The United States And Government Policies

3537 words - 15 pages community mental health centers being the more cost effective alternative, not enough funding was provided for the project, many believe because Kennedy himself was not there to see it through. While 90% of beds at state institutions had been cut, only half the proposed centers were built, and none of them were fully funded. Many states decided to close state hospitals and failed to use the government budget to establish community health care. At the

A Comparative Study Of The Presentation Of Characters' Mental States In Mrs Dalloway By Virginia Woolf And The Hours By Michael Cunningham

2525 words - 10 pages reduction in taboo. Ironically however, I feel this novel gives a more restricted portrayal of mental states as Cunningham strives to understand and then universalise what it is to be insane. By documenting the ongoing existence of 'insanity', Cunningham explores insanity as an inevitable part of society, his use of multiple narratives from three different time periods places emphasis on the idea that insanity is not just a freak occurrence in the