Philosophy Colloquium
Darren Bradley
City College, CUNY
Functionalism and the Independence Problems

The independence problems for functionalism stem from the worry that functional properties that are defined in terms of their causes and effects are not sufficiently independent of those purported causes and effects. I distinguish three different ways the independence problems can be filled out in terms of necessary connections, conceptual connections and vacuous explanations. I argue that none of these present serious problems. Instead, they bring out some important and over-looked features of functionalism.
The independence problems for functionalism stem from the worry that functional properties that are defined in terms of their causes and effects are not sufficiently independent of those purported causes and effects. I distinguish three different ways the independence problems can be filled out in terms of necessary connections, conceptual connections and vacuous explanations. I argue that none of these present serious problems. Instead, they bring out some important and over-looked features of functionalism.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
4:00pm

1103 Taliaferro Hall