How then can the nature of these things called “mental states” be accounted for?

  • Richard Taye Oyelakin
Keywords: Physicalism, Functionalism, Equivalent Relation, Mental states, Machine States

Abstract

Series of attempts have been made to find a sufficient account of the nature of mental states. Functionalism took up the baton and Putnam attempted to use a computational means as a potent analogy to describing the nature of the nature of mental states as a physical component of the world. Putnam discovered that to be consistent on the question, an equivalent relation between a functional state and a corresponding environmental evidence is necessary. But he concludes that no intelligent or non-intelligent agent could discover this. This is because of the conflicting and innumerable nature of the possible environmental evidences. However, even if it were possible, there is the Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem. That is to be able to justify every other proposition in the universe, there must remain some proposition which is not justified. Therefore, computation becomes arbitrary and trivial because there is no means of establishing the equivalent relation and even to justify it. In all of these, the potent question remains; what is the nature of mental states?

Keywords: Physicalism, Functionalism, Equivalent Relation, Mental states, Machine States

Published
2016-06-06
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2227-5452
print ISSN: 2225-8590