[Wittrs] Re: Dualism Cooties: Ontologically Basic Ambiguity: Cartesianism

  • From: "SWM" <SWMirsky@xxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2010 14:55:56 -0000

--- In Wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Gordon Swobe <wittrsamr@...> wrote:

> --- On Thu, 3/25/10, SWM <wittrsamr@...> wrote:
>
> > The dualist implication is in the claim that the CR
> > demonstrates that computational processes running on
> > computers can't cause consciousness BECAUSE there is no
> > understanding to be found in the CR, despite its "behavior".
> > (Searle's third premise in the iteration of the CRA we have
> > been considering on this list.)
>
> Firstly, the claim that 'the CR has no understanding despite its behavior' 
> does not imply dualism.
>

That's not the argument! It's that the absence of the subjective features 
associated with understanding, despite the fact that the behavior suggests 
understanding, indicates the impossibility of understanding there. THE ONLY 
REASON TO THINK THAT IS IF YOU THINK UNDERSTANDING CANNOT BE REDUCED TO 
(CONSTITUTED FROM) SOMETHING(S) THAT ISN'T, ITSELF, UNDERSTANDING (THAT DOESN'T 
UNDERSTAND).


> Secondly, Searle's third premise/axiom A3 has nothing to do with such 
> considerations, except in your mind. A3 claims only exactly what it claims: 
> that syntax doesn't give semantics. Period.
>
> -gts
>

And it only claims it. Period. The CR presumably demonstrates it (or why bother 
to have a CR and an argument derived from it?) and everyone is then supposed to 
say it's obvious because we can see that in the case of the CR. Except it's NOT 
obvious once you get over the idea that understanding can only be conceived as 
a process property. If it's a system property, then there is no reason the 
processes in the system cannot produce understanding in combination in which 
case syntax can cause semantics and the premise is wrong! At the very least, 
the fact that the premise is not self-evidently true anymore vitiates the 
conclusions of the CRA. And the only reason to think otherwise is if you think 
consciousness is ontologically basic.

SWM

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