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

  • From: Gordon Swobe <gts_2000@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 06:08:53 -0700 (PDT)

Here we see the logical structure of Searle's formal argument as given in his 
article in Scientific American that I referenced earlier.

(A1) Programs are formal (syntactic).
(A2) Minds have mental contents (semantics).
(A3) Syntax by itself is neither constitutive of nor sufficient for semantics. 
(This is what the Chinese room experiment shows.)

(C1) Programs are neither constitutive of nor sufficient for minds.
(This conclusion should follow without controversy from the first three axioms.)

That concludes his negative argument. From here he begins his positive argument 
for biological naturalism. He adds another axiom and derives three more 

(A4) Brains cause minds.

(C2) Any other system capable of causing minds would have to have causal powers 
(at least) equivalent to those of brains.

(C3) Any artifact that produced mental phenomena, any artificial brain, would 
have to be able to duplicate the specific causal powers of brains, and it could 
not do that just by running a formal program.

(C4) The way that human brains actually produce mental phenomena cannot be 
solely by virtue of running a computer program.


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