Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Daniel Dennett on Functional Explanation - Dictionary of Arguments

Lanz I 300
Dennett/Lanz: functional analysis makes an optimality condition. (The machine uses its energy to carry out its tasks).
Intentional analysis is similar: the agent is rational: he has goals that he should have because of his constitution and his place in the world. He also has opinions that he should have.
Thus, only the physicalist, causal explanation remains.
So if one asks, what are the relevant causal factors for the educated behavior which can either be explained functionally or intentionally depending on interest and complexity of the behavior, then only the physical explanation provides information.
It follows that it is an illusion to believe that intentional states are in turn causes of other mental states and causes of action.
Psychological characterizations are merely heuristic and no naturalistic descriptions. (DennettVsEveryday Psychology). >Folk Psychology.
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Dennett I 276
Function/causality/Dennett: Problem: did the first nucleotides have a function or simply causal powers? Did the clay crystals (Cairns-Smith) possess real teleological properties or just "something like" teleological properties?
Function/Game of Life/Dennett: Do the gliders have the "function" of movement or do they just move easily?
Dennett I 301
Function/function analysis/Dennett: a now present form has always emerged from a process. Therefore it is accessible to the functional analysis.
Fodor/Dennett: the requirement that an organism works smoothly at any stage imposes iron restriction on its subsequent properties.
A functional analysis is complete only when it confirms that a construction method was established.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Dennett I
D. Dennett
Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, New York 1995
German Edition:
Darwins gefährliches Erbe Hamburg 1997

Dennett II
D. Dennett
Kinds of Minds, New York 1996
German Edition:
Spielarten des Geistes Gütersloh 1999

Dennett III
Daniel Dennett
"COG: Steps towards consciousness in robots"
In
Bewusstein, Thomas Metzinger, Paderborn/München/Wien/Zürich 1996

Dennett IV
Daniel Dennett
"Animal Consciousness. What Matters and Why?", in: D. C. Dennett, Brainchildren. Essays on Designing Minds, Cambridge/MA 1998, pp. 337-350
In
Der Geist der Tiere, D Perler/M. Wild, Frankfurt/M. 2005

Lanz I
Peter Lanz
Vom Begriff des Geistes zur Neurophilosophie
In
Philosophie im 20. Jahrhundert, A. Hügli/P. Lübcke, Reinbek 1993

Dennett IV
Daniel Dennett
"Animal Consciousness. What Matters and Why?", in: D. C. Dennett, Brainchildren. Essays on Designing Minds, Cambridge/MA 1998, pp. 337-350
In
Der Geist der Tiere, D Perler/M. Wild, Frankfurt/M. 2005


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