more from William Lycan

Single Idea 5496

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 2. Machine Functionalism]

Full Idea

Functionalism has three distinct levels of description: a neurophysiological description, a functional description (relative to a program which the brain is realising), and it may have a further mental description.

Gist of Idea

Functionalism has three linked levels: physical, functional, and mental


William Lycan (Introduction - Ontology [1999], p.6)

Book Reference

'Mind and Cognition (2nd Edn)', ed/tr. Lycan,William [Blackwell 1999], p.6

A Reaction

I have always thought that the 'levels of description' idea was very helpful in describing the mind/brain. I feel certain that we are dealing with a single thing, so this is the only way we can account for the diverse ways in which we discuss it.