Mind, State, and Metaphor

Metaphilosophy 47 (3):406-424 (2016)
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Abstract

This article examines the post-Ryle developments in philosophy of mind and psychology, in particular tracing the emergence of the concept of a mental state. The climate immediately following the large-scale rejection of Descartes seems rather hostile to the idea of mental properties as internal states that cause behaviour. In this context, the emergence of the reificatory view of mental states is quite surprising, and it appears to stem from Putnam's adoption of the Turing machine as a model for human psychology. I conclude that the success of the “mental state” is down to the fact that it neatly conforms to the picture painted by the metaphorical expressions we use when talking about minds and mental things, and that its success is more accidental than inevitable.

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References found in this work

The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.
Sensations and Brain Processes.Jjc Smart - 1959 - Philosophical Review 68 (April):141-56.
The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141:125-126.
Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Ethics 93 (3):619-621.

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