Philosophy 1020 Lecture Notes - Gilbert Ryle, Behaviorism, Mental Property

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20. Ryle’s Behaviourism
Tutorial Readings:
Reading 38: Churchland
Focus on Pages 316-320
“Functionalism”
1. Radical alternatives: monism
1.1 First radical alternative: idealism
1.2 Second radical alternative: materialism
For the last half century or more the reigning idea has been the opposite of Berkeley‟s idea has been
the opposite of Berkeley‟s namely materialism, the idea that conscious state are material realities after
all
2. Physicalism (Materialism) contrary to first appearances the only real sort of thing in the world is
concrete material or physical things: matter and its properties
To put it in another way mental states or events can ben reduced to physical states or events
Reduction the process by which one object is shown to be entirely dispensible in favour of
another
Any story we tell involving mental properties is entirely tellable without mental properties, but using
only physical properties
The „Research Program‟
- A practical example of just this type of research
- Dr Aiden Owens, the Canadian excellence research chair conducting research at Western
right now
There have been three main versions of materialism:
a) Behaviorism (today)
There are two versions of behaviourism: Radical behaviourism and logical behaviourism
Radical: Put forward by John Watson and BF Skinner. Science is an objective public activity it relies
on repeatability of experiments and observations. What I find in my lab you should find in yours
There cant be a science of the mind or soul, for the simple reason that the mind is NOT A PUBLIC
OBJECT Psychology strictly speaking is a contradiction in termsL
Psyche = mind or soul
Logos = study of science
Conscious states exist, but we should never try to make a science concerning them
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Document Summary

To put it in another way mental states or events can ben reduced to physical states or events. Reduction the process by which one object is shown to be entirely dispensible in favour of another. Any story we tell involving mental properties is entirely tellable without mental properties, but using only physical properties. A practical example of just this type of research. Dr aiden owens, the canadian excellence research chair conducting research at western right now. There have been three main versions of materialism: behaviorism (today) . There are two versions of behaviourism: radical behaviourism and logical behaviourism. Radical: put forward by john watson and bf skinner. Science is an objective public activity it relies on repeatability of experiments and observations. What i find in my lab you should find in yours. There cant be a science of the mind or soul, for the simple reason that the mind is not a public.

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