Leibniz's monads and comp as functionalisms
Could the metaphysical theory of mind of Leibniz involving monads,
the concept of comp (that mental functions can be simulated by calculations)
and the philosophy of mind known as functionalism be similar ? The answer is
"yes" if we consider them by what they do rather than by what they are.
1) Leibniz defined monads as substances of one part. By one part,
according to this new understanding, monads are bordered
regions of a single function. Thus, monads are the same as
the physical source regions of the functional theory of mind, which
identifies the sources not by what they are but by what they do.
This does away with the physical differences between the
brain and computers and allows us to consider comp as a
viable theory of mind.
1) Monads as functional units. When inquiring into the nature of qualia,
and especially in trying to define them, we found that the best (and perhaps
only) definition of qualia is not what they are, but what they
do. Functionally, "qualia are the subjective or qualitative properties of
What it feels like, experientially, to see a red rose. "
Thus monads refer to the experiences of things, are (according also to Leibniz'
Idealism) the subjective or mental component of objective entities.
"Since mental states are identified [according to the functional theory of
mind] by a functional role,
they are said to be realized on multiple levels;
in other words, they are able to be manifested in various systems, even perhaps
computers, so long
as the system performs the appropriate functions. While computers are physical
electronic substrate that perform computations on inputs to give outputs, so
brains are physical
devices with neural substrate that perform computations on inputs which produce
Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
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