Representational Theory of Mind
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Representational Theory of Mind
- To introduce RMT you first have to look at Functionalism,which is the name of a group of theories that seek todefine mental states in terms of their causal inputs andoutputs.
Unfortunately, as the behaviourists have found, it is probablethat some of C1 and E1 will be other mental states. These inturn will be defined by causes and effects - Infinite regresslooms.
Circularity also looms - We don&#39;t knowwhat M1 is until we know that it causesM2.
- Lewis drew on the work of Ramsey (Take theoreticals out andreplace with variables) - came up with functional analysis ofmental states without excluding them (behaviourist) or fallinginto regress/circularity.
He uses an agnostic theory of pain, solving the problem ofinter-definability. If you know all of it you can makejudgements and give a reductive definition of mentalstates.
This allows him to be a physicalist - all mentalstates are defined in terms of each other alongwith other facts about physical causes/effects.
2 Functionalist theories - 1. Kimand Lewis
- Amateur type of science philosophers are taught is thatpain is c-fibres firing -----&gt; pain is specificallyidentifiable -----&gt; stronger claim -----&gt; Type identity-----&gt; M1 iff B1
weaker claim -----&gt; tokentheory -----&gt; M1 implies B1, B2,B3, B4
- How do we go about choosing Ramseysentence - if we get it wrong then all mentalstates will fail to refer or refer to nothing.
The idea of Functionalism is thatmental terms can be satisfied byphysical states.
Extra theory - Affirmation of physical-neural states.Connection between psychology and neuroscience and tohold popular view that mental states are ultimately justchemical states.
Lewis picks pain, which is easy compared withbeliefs like &#39;i think it will rain&#39;. No distinctfunctional profile for certain mental states.
Functionalism & Structure of Thought
- To fill in the 2 blanks to get a satisfying function profile.
Identifying typical set of causes and effects for believing anddesiring. Whilst there is the same proposition &#39;it will rain today&#39;.There are 2 very different attitudes and have nothin in commonaccept the proposition.
Expressed as the functionalists failure to recognise the structure of propositional attitudes.
1. Belief that P
2. Desire that P
(that clauses are propositional attitudes that relate back to Fregean thoughts)
Functionalism does not explain this shared content.
Functionalism also fails to take into account the way conceptscombine. It will rain today has concepts like rain, will, in and London.The concepts should also be able to be explained functionally. Thedifficulty is with adding them up so that one takes an umbrella towork.
- RMT is the extra position needed if accept Folk Psychology
- RTM and functionalism are close in that:
1. They both think Folk Psychology is true
2. Both think mental states are brain states
But RTM thinks brain states have to be a certain way and Functionalist have no idea what brain states are like.
When it rains today. On the RTM, first the brain "tokens" (P) a mentalsymbol , then it produces some state/operation that constitutes attitudeabout belief. Foder calls this a "belief box". When you look at cloudsforming you token P, put it in your belief box and causes you to take anumbrella.
Similar line of argument for if you desire that it will rain today - say that you don't like someone who has planned a picnic. Despite the different causes and effects you canexplain P.
RTM is very common in cognitive science.
Developing Folk Psychology
- Foder thinks improvements in FP will happen when RTM develops. But could FP itself improve?
This is unlikely as that would mean improving on ordinary wisdom.
Disciplines like microeconomics try to improve FP as a predictive science, but it is barely better than using common sense.