Making the Change: The Functionalist's Way

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Abstract

The paper defends functionalism against the charge that it would make mental properties inefficacious. It outlines two ways of formulating the doctrine that mental properties are functional properties and shows that both allow mental properties to be efficacious. The first (Lewis) approach takes functional properties to be the 'occupants' of causal roles. I show why this is not a problem. The second way of formulating the doctrine takes functional properties to be causal role properties. I claim that mental properties so understood would only be inefficacious if a 'law-centred' rather than a 'property-centred' approach is adopted to the introduction of efficacy into the world. I develop a property-centred account that explains how mental properties can be efficacious without introducing systematic overdetermination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-250
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Volume48
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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