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[Related Event] The 47th meeting of Tokyo Colloquium of Cognitive Philosophy

18:00-20:00, Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Room 710, Bld 14, The University of Tokyo, Komaba

Department of History and Philosophy of Science will hold the 46th Tokyo Colloquium of Cognitive Philosophy. Everyone is welcome.

Date & Time: 2 July (Wednesday), 2014, 18:00-20:00
Venue: the 14th Building, Room 710 on the 7th floor, Komaba Campus

Presenter: Shun Tsugita (The University of Tokyo)
Title: On Ryle’s distinction between tendency and capacity

A behaviorist answer to the mind-body problem is said to be dependent on the idea of behavioral disposition. But what is a disposition? Gilbert Ryle, who introduced the notion of a disposition into philosophy of mind in The Concept of Mind, distinguished two types of dispositions. One is called a tendency, which corresponds somewhat to the narrower notion of disposition used in contemporary metaphysics, and the other is called a capacity. Now, although behaviorism is no longer popular, it seems that contemporary functionalists can also rely on a suitably modified version of Ryle’s distinction to draw their picture of our mind. The question is then 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 a general notion of causal role than that of disposition. On the other hand, functionalists seem not to address the notion of capacity very often. This presentation reconsiders how and for what purposes Ryle exploits the notion of capacity in his work, clarifies the relation between capacities and mental states, and provides a way to adapt his discussion of capacities to the functionalist picture of mind.

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