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【報告】The 47th Tokyo Colloquium of Cognitive Philosophy (TCCP)

2014.08.04 信原幸弘

The speaker of the 47th TCCP was Shun Tsugita (The University of Tokyo). The title of his presentation was “On Ryle’s distinction between tendency and capacity”.

A behaviorist answer to the mind-body problem is dependent on the idea of behavioral disposition. But what is disposition? Gilbert Ryle distinguished two types of dispositions. One is called tendency, which almost corresponds to the narrower notion of disposition used in contemporary metaphysics, and the other called capacity.

Although behaviorism is no longer popular, contemporary functionalists can rely on Ryle’s distinction with some suitable modification to draw their picture of our mind. Then, the question is what kind of modification is necessary. With respect to tendency, the issue is almost settled. First, functionalists endorse realist interpretation of dispositions. Second, they adopt more general notion of causal role than that of disposition.

On the other hand, functionalists do not use the notion of capacity very often. But at least some of the abilities are arguably mental state, and if so, since functionalism is the position regarding mental states in general, ability needs to be characterized by causal role. In the past, two approaches of ability had been advanced: non-conditional approach and conditional approach, although these two approaches look compatible. In this presentation, He modified, in particular, the conditional analysis of ability to adapt to functionalist view.

(Shun Tsugita, Rie Iizuka)

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