more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 2588

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 1. Functionalism]

Full Idea

I propose the hypothesis that pain, or the state of being in pain, is a functional state of a whole organism.

Gist of Idea

Is pain a functional state of a complete organism?


Hilary Putnam (The Nature of Mental States [1968], p.54)

Book Reference

'The Philosophy of Mind', ed/tr. Beakley,B /Ludlow P [MIT 1992], p.54

A Reaction

This sounds wrong right from the start. Pain hurts. The fact that it leads to avoidance behaviour etc. seems much more like a by-product of pain than its essence.