Trying To Put One Label on Two Ideas: Functionalism's Failure as a Monist Theory .
Functionalism is defined as an inherently monist theory of the mind. Functionalism rejects classic dualism due to the interaction problem (Pojman 1998). Functionalists believe that we will be able to understand the brain on the nature of the theoretical interface between neuroscience and psychology (Churchland). Pojman says that functionalism is the "heir to behaviourism". Pojman also states that behaviourists either deny that mental events exist, or they deny their importance. However, functionalists state that there is a brain state and a mental state, which act in a causal relationship. They argue that the input-output relationship exists in a broader sense than an environmental input and behavioural output relationship (Pojman 1998). Functionalists hope to characterize psychological states in terms of their causal connections to behaviour, to stimuli, and to other mental states (Sober 1990). I shall argue that Functionalism is a dualist theory. Functionalism is a dualist theory because it advocates a mental state and a brain state, which have a causal relationship interacting through computations. It fails as a theory because it must ignore qualia if it is to be a sound argument.(Sober 1990) .
Functionalism poses the idea that thinking can be simulated through algorithms and that we are chauvinists to assume only a brain could think. Functionalists reject behaviourism because it leaves out the uniqueness of mental states (Pojman 1998). Functionalists argue that mental events exist and must be accounted for. Functionalism is not a replacement for monist theories. Functionalism is dualism for the reason that it offers to explain the interaction of brain states and mental states by claiming that they interact through computations (Sober 1990). Functionalism is an attempt to explain the interaction of brain states and mental states through the function of the output.