Ideas from 'The Mental Life of Some Machines' by Hilary Putnam [1967], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Mind Language and Reality: Papers vol 2' by Putnam,Hilary [CUP 1975,0-521-10668-5]].

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17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 2. Machine Functionalism
Instances of pain are physical tokens, but the nature of pain is more abstract
                        Full Idea: In machine functionalism, pain tokens (individual instances of pain) are identical with particular neurophysiological states, but pain itself, the kind, universal, or 'type', can be identified only with something more abstract.
                        From: report of Hilary Putnam (The Mental Life of Some Machines [1967]) by William Lycan - Introduction - Ontology p.6
                        A reaction: This is where the "what is it like?" question seems important. Pain doesn't seem like a physical object, or an abstract idea. Personally I think the former is more likely to be correct than the latter. Causation by pain is not like causation by gravity.