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“On Functionalism and Materialism” by Paul Churchland Essay


The article “On Functionalism and Materialism” offers powerful philosophical arguments on the issue of functionalism. To begin with, the author “offers a critical analysis of two different aspects of philosophical materialism of human mind” (Pojman and Vaughn 239). Reductivism “supports the identity of different brain states and mental states” (Pojman and Vaughn 242).

The “concept of Functionalism goes further to reject the one-on-one correlation between physical types and mental types” (Pojman and Vaughn 243). That being the case, the concept mainly focuses on the relationships between outputs and the targeted inputs. The scholar uses the example of pain because it is a mental event.

The article explains how “mental pain can be similar in two or more human beings even if they have different brain or body types” (Pojman and Vaughn 239). The article goes further to explain why many functionalists are usually materialistic in nature. However, some individuals can be functionalists and non-materialists.

This knowledge makes it easier for the reader to understand how Eliminative Materialism tends to eliminate various aspects such as perception, concept, feeling, and belief. Eliminative Materialism goes further to support the scientific description of the developments encountered in people’s brains. The most powerful idea in this article is that human beings can be functionalists without being materialistic in nature (Pojman and Vaughn 276). This approach will encourage more people to reformulate their worldviews.

The idea has encouraged me to think differently about my values, beliefs, and opinions about the world. The author encourages every reader to combine the two versions of materialism in philosophy of mind in order to achieve his or her potentials. The strategy will make it easier for more individuals to understand the issues taking place in their minds (or lives).

I have understood how to use both scientific and non-scientific concepts to analyze the events taking place in my mind. The practice will eventually support my religious beliefs and ethical values. It is agreeable that people cannot understand most of the issues associated with human life (Pojman and Vaughn 289). The best thing is for every individual to have a positive perception about his or her life.

The above thinking is acceptable because the two versions of materialism support different human perceptions. My goal is to become a non-materialist in order to support my beliefs, values, and perceptions. My duty is to use different versions of materialism depending on the targeted goals or obligations.

Eliminative Materialism (EM) will make it easier for me to understand the major events taking place in my brain. I will also use the concept of Reductivism to accept everything that cannot be explained using scientific arguments (Pojman and Vaughn 247). This strategy will eventually support my view of the universe.

This approach will eliminate the doubts that make it impossible for many people to have strong religious foundations. Functionalism supports the relationship between various mental inputs and outputs. This knowledge is relevant because it explains why different individuals with different body types encounter similar experiences of pain.

This knowledge explains why the two aspects of materialism will make it easier for individuals to redefine their lives (Pojman and Vaughn 268). The truth about the universe can only be achieved by combining the two materialist theories proposed by Paul Churchland. My goal is to focus on the best ideas and arguments that will support my religious faith. I will also treat life as something precious and immeasurable. This approach will make it easier for me to achieve my religious goals.

Works Cited

Pojman, Louis, and Lewis Vaughn. Philosophy: The Quest for Truth. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, April 1). "On Functionalism and Materialism" by Paul Churchland. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/on-functionalism-and-materialism-by-paul-churchland/

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""On Functionalism and Materialism" by Paul Churchland." IvyPanda, 1 Apr. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/on-functionalism-and-materialism-by-paul-churchland/.

1. IvyPanda. ""On Functionalism and Materialism" by Paul Churchland." April 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/on-functionalism-and-materialism-by-paul-churchland/.


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IvyPanda. 2020. ""On Functionalism and Materialism" by Paul Churchland." April 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/on-functionalism-and-materialism-by-paul-churchland/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) '"On Functionalism and Materialism" by Paul Churchland'. 1 April.

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