[Wittrs] Re: Further Thoughts on Dennett, Searle and the Conundrum of Dualism

  • From: Gordon Swobe <gts_2000@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2010 06:55:30 -0700 (PDT)

--- On Wed, 3/31/10, SWM <wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>> If the man truly has no bigger role in the experiment
>> than you give him credit for; that is, if he plays only the
>> role of a cog in the machinery implementing so-called rote
>> processes, then he would fail to understand the English
>> version of the stories.
> > 
> > 
> > -gts
> He isn't doing the same thing in both cases. In one he is
> reading the material while in the other he is following
> rules for matching symbols. The point is to ask what it
> means to read and understand vs. reading for the purpose of
> symbol matching.

The man tries to understand the symbols in both cases, as evidenced by the fact 
that he succeeds in the English case. And he has exactly the same sort of 
resources available to him in both cases, including his intelligence from 
hundreds of billions of neurons. 

But according to your argument the man does not actually attempt to use his 
full cognitive capacities to try to understand the symbols in the Chinese case. 
According to you, he exists only as you say as a "cog in the machinery 
implementing rote processes" and not as a full-fledged cognitive system whose 
job it is to try to understand the symbols.

In that way you get the CRA wrong. You refute a strawman.



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