more from William Lycan

Single Idea 6530

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 2. Reduction of Mind]

Full Idea

I am explicating the mental in a reductive way, by reducing mental characterizations to homuncular institutional ones, which are teleological characterizations at various levels of functional abstraction.


'Homunculi' are small minds; teleological explanations refer to purposes

Gist of Idea

We reduce the mind through homuncular groups, described abstractly by purpose


William Lycan (Consciousness [1987], 4.3)

Book Reference

Lycan,William G.: 'Consciousness' [MIT 1995], p.42

A Reaction

I think this is the germ of a very good physicalist account of the mind. More is needed than a mere assertion about what the mind reduces to at the very lowest level; this offers a decent account of the descending stages of reduction.