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Episteme

Abstract

We can solve the problem of other minds by reference to behavior only if we conceive of consciousness in functional terms. Folk psychology, though incomplete, supplies us with mental categories that are useful for prediction and explanation and thus can become functional categories. We need psychology and linguistics to work together to create a substantial body of research. The author spends a great deal of time responding to an objecting interlocutor, out of which comes supplemental details such as a discussion of functional equivalence; a response to the reductio ad absurdum complaint against the liberal intentional stance; an argument about quaila that does not suggest the nonexistence of qualia, but rather argues that people who want to place a special value on qualia, cannot, in turn, solve the problem of other minds; a critique of Searle’s critique; and a reply to a Putnam-inspired appraisal of functionalism’s ability to handle propositional equivalence.

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