Central-State Materialism

& Functionalism Essay, Research Paper

In my readings of the two chapters from the book, Body and Mind, written by Keith Campbell, I explored my mind to Central-State Materialism and Functionalism. Both these states have differences and similarities between them. Starting off with Central-State Materialism; then, I reflected my readings, and then viewed Functionalism and stated my readings. The main point of this paper is to give a few supporting details on the similarities and differences Central-State Materialism, and a few points supporting Functionalism.

The chapter on Central-State Materialism first introduces us to the Casual Theory of mind, and learning new terms such as, essentially casual and essentially effectual. This is just like a cause and effect concept, that every decision you make is a decision that you made through your mental state because of a certain effect. Our essentially effectual mental behavior is produced by an action, but our essentially casual mental behavior is made for a condition of capacity for a behavior. However we do not always use a capacity for a behavior, but the thought always arises. Central-State Materialism evolved from the man known as Armstrong, but a man by the name of Place was the first to get an Identity Theory out in the open. Campbell tells us, the Casual Theory of mind is coherent to Behaviorism, and these states show the disposing of men to certain forms of their behavior(79). For example, a mans actions are based upon his inner states and that causes him to act differently in particular situations. As the Casual Theory says that all of the mental states of mind causes a person to seek one path rather than seeking another throughout his life.

In Central-State Materialism the Casual Theory of the mind has two strands that many mental events and processes are yet factual causes of parts of behavior that belong to different patterns. Thus mental causes get their name from the different behavior patterns of the mind. The mental states in the first strand of the Casual Theory of mind under Central-State Materialism is casually producing a desired effect or an influence in the behavior. Campbell clarifies that doing

this will avoid a major problem of Behaviorism. The first strand acknowledges that the mind is an inner, separate, and standing behind behavior (80). Campbell directly states the second strand of the Casual Theory of the mind says mental terms get meaning by reference to behavioral effects of the mental states they denote. But the difference between the first and second strands are that one tries to shun away a problem frm Behaviorism to occur, and the other preserves the truth of Behaviorism (81). In the Casual Theory of mind corresponding to Central State Materialism shows that Behaviorism has a connection of mind with behavior, but they may not be referring to the same ideas.

In the Casual Theory of mind we place positivism under meaningful conditions, which are given that bodily movements are perceptible and they lead to the Behaviorism of minds using some of our sense organs. Descartes? view of the Mind is stating that it is all on the inside, and that our minds are a private thing. The Identity Theory says and identifies that types of mental states correspond with types of physical states, but this is only true in some cases of Central-State Materialism. This is saying that for example the type-type Identity Theory, all types of pain are physical types just like everyone else, and takes response to the mental being of your brain. This renders that no alien, no non-human brain, otherwise known as an animal, no artificial brain like computers could feel pain because none of them have human like brain states.

We have what are known as stimuli and their responses to our behavior, and these stimuli come from the experiences we gather over time. The central nervous system plays an important role in this mental state because without this system we could not find what our behavior is intending on doing for us. Many Casual Theorist which are also know as Dualist describes mental life as inner states of causes in bodily actions. The events and processes are mainly the effect of

behavior, the central nervous system is this because of our behavior reacting to the system this is also in the same way to Functionalism. ?Central-State Materialism is thus the most uncompromisingly economical version of the Casual Theory of mind.? (Campbell 87). In Behaviorism the only defense is that Central-State Materialism is with the mind, not with the Mind-Body problem.

In Central-State Materialism our acts are always caused, but they are always free. Never can another force decide what I am going to do, only my mind can make the decision for me. If I want to eat an apple, I will then eat an apple. Someone might ask why do you eat that apple? You think for a second and suppose you reply back saying I am eating the apple because I just simply want to eat an apple, this is based upon your free will of eating an apple. But say you were hungry and acknowledged the fact that you were hungry; then, that would be caused by an outside force and not something chosen by free will it would be chosen by your hunger.

The two strands of Central-State Materialism, one that it is the cause of behavior, and the central nervous system is the cause of behavior which are our minds. ?The Casual Theory of mind states that descriptions of mental events, states, processes are descriptions on inner conditions insofar as they are, directly or indirectly, causally efficacious in the behavior of an organism.? (Campbell 97). This is saying that having a view or vision maybe of something that could be true, but might not because it did not occur in our present behavior.

Functionalism, on the other hand, has a few similarities and differences with Central-State Materialism but do corresponds with each other. Throughout time the Casual Theory of the mind played a significant role in Central-State Materialism and several different aspects of Central-State Materialism. Now, recently the Casual Theory of mind has improved to what is known as Functionalism. Functionalism is looked upon how one determines and perceives his or her life.

The perception on how someone chooses their goals in life, and how they want to achieve those goals is the function of Functionalism. In Functionalism you must use the sense organs to gain your knowledge of what you learn and experience around you. The environment that you are based around is how you learn and rule out the right and wrongs about life; however, learning from your mistakes and then acknowledging them when they occur again is that experience.

Manifested in the Casual Theory of mental terms is that Functionalism emphasizes the importance that the mental states have two sorts of effect. The first effect is that they modify behavior. The second effect results in the change of other mental states; then, they impact on the goals and how one pursues them. In Central-State Materialism we have what are known as two strands of the Casual Theory of mind, this is just as so for Functionalism as stated above. Functionalism is the theory that gives meaning to all of the psychological terms. Campbell describes, that we can show how complex mental processes produce sub-elements which are also functional (111).

The central nervous system allows us to find mechanisms in the nerve tissues. The sub-units in the process of functional analysis lets us understand how the mechanisms work. The connection with Materialism to Functionalism is that the mental functions are acted out by the nervous system. In recent years the functional conception of the mind has aided to the enhancement of computer technology. Also we can use Artificial Intelligence, this solves very increased difficult problems. The way a sub-unit processes information is having inputs that change an internal state and outputs that are transformed. In doing this we recognized this as a functional description. A functional description is performed for an artificial intelligence, which can relate to natural intelligence.

The Casual Theory of the mind was then adopted by Functionalism and had developed

into more detail and depth in the mental state known as Functionalism. The Central-State

Materialism is in association with the Casual Theory of the mind. Since it is understood because of the different mental states and that the processes were also in different states and along with the central nervous system, this gives the association between Central-State Materialism and our Casual Theory of the mind with Functionalism. But in some instances this is not true because if the right sorts of states and the processes of our central nervous system are not correct we can not have any of these states or processes.

Human chauvinism clearly states that only humans with human being internal workings, and only these human beings can perform these ideas: how one thinks, remembers, feels, or solve problems are only consider human beings. Although saying that we do not acknowledge the intelligence of other beings with minds is inaccurate, for already having the simple knowledge we all know today that another type of being does have similar minds. Remarking that certain animals with relatively similar minds compared to a humans mind is depicting how some human chauvinist think and act toward this idea. Where certain animals like dogs, cats, chimps, and gorillas are said to have minds that operate like us human beings, but might not exactly be comparable to humans because of the internal workings. These other beings behave just as we do humans do and have comparable minds like ours, this shows also in our Casual Theory of mind corresponding to Central-State Materialism that Behaviorism has a connection of mind with our behavior.

No matter what you are made of, what counts is the way you do it and what you are doing. We all obtained information from the outside world, be it through our sensations, the way we percept something, or being through different experiences throughout ones life. All this is stored and used in another way cohesively for the experiences that are to come in the future and they will reflect back to your perception of what happened before. Human chauvinism can be accepted if functional descriptions are satisfactory, and people believe that other beings are like us.

Now we can come to realize that there are different relationships between the state of mind and the inner bodily state that is known as a one-one relationship. Campbell considers that, there is a one-many relationship having similar mental states and many different sorts of physical or spiritual stuff and structure involved (117). We can turn to the central nervous system to understand that this relationship can be recognized from its mental state to its physical state. Just as to we revealed this same process in Central-State Materialism we now are conducting it in Funcationalism also. Under Functionalism we take in the Identity Theory that there is a similar relation of the mind to the brain, which is a logical concept. To go further into our theory from type-type we established the token-token relationship. Because we have thought of a theory as always a material state, it is now to be that an individual case as a mental state, and the other token is said to be a material state. So for any different being that is upset, but no matter what that being is an alien, chimp, or human people we are thought of being constructed differently, but being upset is all in the same state. It would be impossible to evaluate a token-token identification because someone simply does not have time to go through the evidence showing in the instances of the times that someone was upset. The way we could do this is being more specific with the topic and searching where and why this person became upset.

We have also seen Functionalism developed more into detail with the Casual Theory through embodiment and supervenience. ? Functional holds that the essential aspects of any mental description is its account of how input alters an inner element of the organism, and so changes the organism?s behavioral output and dispositions to behavior. ?(Campbell 119) Here we have something like the organism from the external world, which is acting into and inner structure which is know as the mind. But brain descriptions do not take this form because it relates to how the brain works, what is the brain composed of, and how both of these work to complete the job together. Both of these descriptions have different objectives, and also their characteristics differ as well. Now the aspect of the mind in psychology which is showing mental functions is impossible to be degraded to some other physiological description, and is describing that psychological knowledge is knowledge of the functions, and physiology deals with their embodiment. A mental supervenient is its embodiment of mental characteristics of Functionalism. Functionalism in the Materialist form is yet the strongest form on Materialism developed.

In conclusion, I have shared my opinions on the similarities and differences of both states, first as you read on Central-State Materialism; then, on Functionalism. This has showed me that these to states are yet opposite in one way, but coherent to each other at times and the mind does work in strange ways with our brain, central nervous system, our perception and behavior.

1. Campbell, Keith. ?Central-State Materialism,? Body and Mind, 2ND edition. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984, 77-109.

2. Campbell, Keith. ?Functionalism,? Body and Mind, 2nd edition. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984, 110-123.


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