Lycan reviews behaviorist and dualist theories of the mind, then focuses
on Dennett's homuncular functionalism and defends it against its critics.
Lycan thinks that, besides the low level of physiochemical processes and the high level of psychofunctional processes, Nature is organized in a number of hierarchical levels (subatomic, atomic, molecular, cellular, biological, psychological). And each level is both physical and functional: physical with respect to its immediately higher level and functional with respect to its immediately lower level. Going from lower levels to higher levels we obtain a physical, structural, description of nature (atoms make molecules that make cellules that make organs that make bodies...). Backwards we obtain a functional description (the behavior of something is explained by the behavior of its parts).
The aggregative ontology ("bottom-up") and the structured epistemology ("top-down") of Nature are dual aspects of the same thing. The apparent irreducibility of the mental is due to the irreducibility of the various levels.
TM, ®, Copyright © 2014 Piero Scaruffi