Representation and Reality / Edition 1 available in Paperback
Hilary Putnam, who may have been the first philosopher to advance the notion that the computer is an apt model for the mind, takes a radically new view of his own theory of functionalism in this book. Putnam argues that in fact the computational analogy cannot answer the important questions about the nature of such mental states as belief, reasoning, rationality, and knowledge that lie at the heart of the philosophy of mind.
About the Author
Hilary Putnam is Walter Beverly Pearson Professor of Mathematical Logic at Harvard University.
Table of ContentsPreface
Chapter 1 Meaning and Mentalism
Fodor and Chomsky
Three Reasons Why Mentalism Can't Be Right
1. Meaning Is Holistic
2. Meaning Is in Part a Normative Notion
3. Our Concepts Depend on Our Physical and Social Environment in a Way That Evolution (Which Was Com...
Connections between 1, 2, and 3
Chapter 2 Meaning, Other People, and the World
The Division of Linguistic Labor
Elms, Beeches, and Searle
The Contribution of the Environment
An Indexical Component
Other Natural Kinds
Reference and Theory Change
Meaning and "Mental Representation"
Chapter 3 Fodor and Block on "Narrow Content"
Narrow Content as a "Function of Observable Properties"
"Narrow Content" and "Conceptual Role"
Chapter 4 Are There Such Things as Reference and Truth?
Why "Folk Psychology" and Not "Folk Logic"?
The "Semantical Conception" of Truth
Disquotation as Disappearance
Chapter 5 Why Functionalism Didn't Work
What "In Principle" Means Here
The Single-Computational-State Version of Functionalism
Chapter 6 Other Forms of Functionalism
David Lewis and I
Lewis's Theory Further Examined
Chapter 7 A Sketch of an Alternative Picture
Objectivity and Conceptual Relativity
Internal Realism as an Alternative Picture
My Present Diagnosis of the "Functionalism" Issue
What People are Saying About This
Representation and Reality is one of the most thorough and careful criticisms of reductionism in the philosophy of mind that we have yet seen, and all future discussions of the computerhuman analogy will have to take account of it.
" Representation and Reality is one of the most thorough and careful criticisms of reductionism in the philosophy of mind that we have yet seen, and all future discussions of the computerhuman analogy will have to take account of it." Richard Rorty, University ofVirginia
With striking candor, Putnam exposes the factors that have shaped his thinking about intentionality. Since that thinking has had a great influence, this book is full of valuable insights into current philosophical methods, foibles, and aspirations. As usual, he sets a hard task for his colleagues: figuring out how to agree with just 90 percent of what he says.