[Wittrs] Re: Searle's CRA and its Implications

  • From: Gordon Swobe <gts_2000@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 12:54:15 -0700 (PDT)

--- On Tue, 3/16/10, SWM <wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> [Recall my point that this is about how consciousness can
> be conceived, how we can imagine it! Note that I have been
> stressing the point that the inability to imagine it in the
> way Dennett proposes, or the unwillingness to do so, hangs
> on an implicit presumption that consciousness, or, in this
> case, understanding, cannot be reduced to more basic
> constituents that are not themselves instances
> of understanding. I have stressed that Searle's argument
> hinges on precisely this insistence, that because there is
> no understanding to be found in the Chinese Room, no
> understanding is possible. 

Understanding does exist in the CR. Have you read the target article? 

The man implements both an English and a Chinese version of the program. He 
manages of course to understand the English using exactly the same tools he had 
with the Chinese. How do you explain that discrepancy? 

It seems the man has full competency to understand Chinese if in fact syntax 
gives semantics. But alas syntax does not give semantics.

I went back and forth with Budd on this point on another list; he finally 
convinced me that the English semantics in the room plays a necessary role in 
the experiment for precisely the reason above. It's a control, so to speak.



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