functionalism

[From English function: the operation or performance of a thing.]

  1. (epistemology) The view, developed (and then renounced) by Hilary Putnam (1926-1916) that the mind can be studied in terms of its cognitive operations independently of the brain and body, and that those operations can be adequately modeled by the manipulation of exclusively formal symbols (such as the symbols of symbolic logic or computer programming).

The Ism Book by Peter Saint-Andre

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