Gödel, Putnam, and functionalism: a new reading of Representation and reality

Book Cover
Average Rating
MIT Press,
Pub. Date:

With mind-brain identity theories no longer dominant in philosophy of mind in the late 1950s, scientific materialists turned to functionalism, the view that the identity of any mental state depends on its function in the cognitive system of which it is a part. The philosopher Hilary Putnam was one of the primary architects of functionalism and was the first to propose computational functionalism, which views the human mind as a computer or an information processor. But, in the early 1970s, Putnam began to have doubts about functionalism, and in his masterwork Representation and Reality (MIT Press, 1988), he advanced four powerful arguments against his own doctrine of computational functionalism.

In Gödel, Putnam, and Functionalism, Jeff Buechner systematically examines Putnam's arguments against functionalism and contends that they are unsuccessful. Putnam's first argument uses Gödel's incompleteness theorem to refute the view that there is a computational description of human reasoning and rationality; his second, the "triviality argument," demonstrates that any computational description can be attributed to any physical system; his third, the multirealization argument, shows that there are infinitely many computational realizations of an arbitrary intentional state; his fourth argument buttresses this assertion by showing that there cannot be local computational reductions because there is no computable partitioning of the infinity of computational realizations of an arbitrary intentional state into a single package or small set of packages (equivalence classes). Buechner analyzes these arguments and the important inferential connections among them -- for example, the use of both the Gödel and triviality arguments in the argument against local computational reductions -- and argues that none of Putnam's four arguments succeeds in refuting functionalism.Gödel, Putnam, and Functionalism will inspire renewed discussion of Putnam's influential book and will confirmRepresentation and Reality as a major work by a major philosopher.

More Details
Also in this Series
More Like This
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 20b8e4e7-1ea4-a22e-14d4-91fb68728906
full_title gödel putnam and functionalism a new reading of representation and reality
author buechner jeff
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:35AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Buechner, Jeff.
author2-role NetLibrary, Inc.
author_display Buechner, Jeff
detailed_location_arlington EBSCOhost
format_arlington eBook
format_category_arlington eBook
id 20b8e4e7-1ea4-a22e-14d4-91fb68728906
isbn 9781435603141
item_details external_econtent:ils:.b13092686||EBSCOhost|Online|eBook|eBook|1|false|true|EBSCOhost||http://www.netlibrary.com.library.access.arlingtonva.us/urlapi.asp?action=summary&v=1&bookid=206546||Available Online||q||
itype_arlington eCollection
lexile_score -1
literary_form Other
literary_form_full Other
local_callnumber_arlington Online
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library Online, Aurora Hills Online, Central Online, Cherrydale Online, Columbia Pike Online, Connection Crystal City Online, Detention Center Online, Glencarlyn Online, Local History Online, Plaza Online, Shirlington Online, Westover Online
primary_isbn 9781435603141
publishDate 2008
record_details external_econtent:ils:.b13092686|eBook|eBook||English|MIT Press,|c2008.|x, 344 p. ; 24 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_arlington external_econtent:ils:.b13092686||Available Online|Available Online|false|true|false|false|false|true||||
title_display Gödel, Putnam, and functionalism a new reading of Representation and reality
title_full Gödel, Putnam, and functionalism [electronic resource] : a new reading of Representation and reality / Jeff Buechner
title_short Gödel, Putnam, and functionalism
title_sub a new reading of Representation and reality