[ExI] Functionalism and Lakoff

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Wed Feb 8 21:01:03 UTC 2012

Has anyone read George Lakoff's writings on functionalism?  His essay
"Philosophy in the Flesh" is Brockman's The Mind: Leading Scientists Explore
the Brain, dismisses functionalism as Putman's former interest, which he
later dismissed and argued against. Lakoff claims that the mind is studied
in terms of its cognitive functions independently of the brain and body.
How can this be possible?  If the mind is what the brain does (More) and the
brain is an organ of the body, then how can Lakoff make this claim? It seems
absurd to me and misleading. 


We have already discussed embodiment vs. disembodiment and the consensus is
that we will exist in some type of system/substrate that can be seen or
understood as a body (or new interpretation of body).  If functionalism is
the most appropriate position to take in this regard, why would
functionalism claim to be devoid of a body? This brings us back to the
annoying issue of disembodiment, which Lakoff claims to be the objective of
and metaphor for neural computation.




 <http://www.natasha.cc/> Natasha Vita-More
PhD Researcher, Univ. of Plymouth, UK
Chairman, Humanity+ 

Co-Editor, The Transhumanist Reader


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