Is ‘Mind’ Fundamental to the World?

Dr. Jonathan Schaffer recently came on my podcast to discuss his new paper, “Ground Functionalism”, which can be found here. Dr. Schaffer is a world-class philosopher working out of Rutgers University. In this paper he argues for a particular theory of mind called “functionalism” whereby the mind is a concrete realization of an abstract function of inputs, internal states, and outputs. Schaffer argues that other functional theories of mind either posit principles that are too weak, like Chalmers’s nomological version, or far too strong, like Lewis and Armstrong’s analytic functionalism. Schaffer argues instead for a middle way where “mind-making” is a metaphysical principal. Thus, when the right inputs, internal states, and outputs are realized, a mind arises. Check out our episode of the Parker’s Pensées Podcast to hear Dr. Schaffer in his own words: https://youtu.be/-RRepoXvDos

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