Representational Theory of Mind

Get Started. It's Free
or sign up with your email address
Rocket clouds
Representational Theory of Mind by Mind Map: Representational Theory of Mind

1. Functionalism

1.1. To introduce RMT you first have to look at Functionalism, which is the name of a group of theories that seek to define mental states in terms of their causal inputs and outputs. Unfortunately, as the behaviourists have found, it is probable that some of C1 and E1 will be other mental states. These in turn will be defined by causes and effects - Infinite regress looms. Circularity also looms - We don't know what M1 is until we know that it causes M2.

1.2. Lewis drew on the work of Ramsey (Take theoreticals out and replace with variables) - came up with functional analysis of mental states without excluding them (behaviourist) or falling into regress/circularity. He uses an agnostic theory of pain, solving the problem of inter-definability. If you know all of it you can make judgements and give a reductive definition of mental states. This allows him to be a physicalist - all mental states are defined in terms of each other along with other facts about physical causes/effects. 2 Functionalist theories - 1. Kim and Lewis

1.3. Amateur type of science philosophers are taught is that pain is c-fibres firing -----> pain is specifically identifiable -----> stronger claim -----> Type identity -----> M1 iff B1 weaker claim -----> token theory -----> M1 implies B1, B2, B3, B4

2. RMT

2.1. RMT is the extra position needed if accept Folk Psychology

2.2. 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 mental symbol , then it produces some state/operation that constitutes attitude about belief. Foder calls this a 'belief box'. When you look at clouds forming you token P, put it in your belief box and causes you to take an umbrella. 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 can explain P. RTM is very common in cognitive science.

3. Problem:

3.1. How do we go about choosing Ramsey sentence - if we get it wrong then all mental states will fail to refer or refer to nothing. The idea of Functionalism is that mental terms can be satisfied by physical states. Extra theory - Affirmation of physical-neural states. Connection between psychology and neuroscience and to hold popular view that mental states are ultimately just chemical states. Lewis picks pain, which is easy compared with beliefs like 'i think it will rain'. No distinct functional profile for certain mental states.

4. Functionalism & Structure of Thought

4.1. To fill in the 2 blanks to get a satisfying function profile. Identifying typical set of causes and effects for believing and desiring. Whilst there is the same proposition 'it will rain today'. There are 2 very different attitudes and have nothin in common accept 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 concepts combine. It will rain today has concepts like rain, will, in and London. The concepts should also be able to be explained functionally. The difficulty is with adding them up so that one takes an umbrella to work.

5. Developing Folk Psychology

5.1. 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.