more from Jaegwon Kim

Single Idea 3380

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 2. Potential Behaviour]

Full Idea

Functionalists take a "realist" approach to dispositions whereas the behaviourist embraces an "instrumentalist" line.


'Instrumentalism' is the view that they are useful fictions, not real things

Gist of Idea

Are dispositions real, or just a type of explanation?


Jaegwon Kim (Philosophy of Mind [1996], p. 78)

Book Reference

Kim,Jaegwon: 'Philosophy of Mind' [Westview 1998], p.78

A Reaction

A helpful distinction, which immediately shows why functionalism is superior to behaviourism. There must be some explanation of mental dispositions, and the instrumental view is essentially a refusal to think about the real problem.