[lit-ideas] Re: view of names, or in ginocchio da te

  • From: John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2013 23:05:52 +0900

I have to agree with Omar on this one.


On Wednesday, September 4, 2013, Omar Kusturica wrote:

>   ------------------------------
>  *From:* Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx <javascript:_e({},
> 'cvml', 'donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx');>>
> *To:* "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <javascript:_e({}, 'cvml',
> 'lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx');>" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <javascript:_e({},
> 'cvml', 'lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx');>>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, September 4, 2013 3:12 PM
> *Subject:* [lit-ideas] Re: view of names, or in ginocchio da te
> Btw: the idea that lies behind someone wondering how Popper, writing in
> the 50s, could have anything much to say that is 'authoritative' (or even
> of any value) as regards the philosophical status of computers nowadays,
> may be the idea that more modern computers than those in the 50s have
> changed the philosophical status of computers - but this idea, that
> computers' progress as machines has changed their philosophical status from
> machines to something more than machines, may be just another of these
> delusions my post mentioned.
> *Here Donal seems to be a priori assuming the very point that is being
> argued, ie that machines cannot think, based on some implicit definition of
> machines being postulated. Personally, I cannot perceive any kind of
> logical contradiction involved in the concept of machines thinking.
> Certainly, many machines known to us do not think; an iron doesn't think,
> but neither does an mushroom even though it is a living organism. The issue
> seems to me to be an empirical one and not likely to be resolved by
> shuffling around concepts such as: 'machine', 'thinking' etc.
> In this connection, the supposed thought experiment of a Chinese room
> seems to me unhelpful as well. We cannot a priori a know if a hypothetical
> machine that is successfully using a human language (btw why is Chinese
> chosen for this ?) really understands the language or simulates
> understanding without knowing something of how that machine works. A
> similar question can be raised about human use of language as well, and
> again it cannot be answered without understanding how humans work. To a
> priori assume that a machine using language would be stimulating and a
> human doing the same would not is begging the question or something.
> O:K.
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John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324

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