more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 3460

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 4. Behaviourism Critique]

Full Idea

Putnam proposed the superactor/superspartan objection to behaviourism.


'Superactors' perfectly simulate feelings they don't have; 'Superspartans' perfectly suppress extremely strong feelings

Gist of Idea

Superactors and superspartans count against behaviourism


report of Hilary Putnam (Brains and Behaviour [1963]) by John Searle - The Rediscovery of the Mind Ch. 2.II

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Rediscovery of the Mind' [MIT 1999], p.35

A Reaction

This is a beautiful compression of the obvious counterexamples, which are behaviour-wth-no-experience, and experience-with-no-behaviour. Presumably, though, Spartans are disposed to go 'aagh!' when they get home, and there are no 'super' actors.