[Wittrs] Re: Semantics, Meaning, Understanding and Consciousness

  • From: "SWM" <SWMirsky@xxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 14:42:42 -0000

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

> --- On Sun, 3/28/10, SWM <wittrsamr@...> wrote:
> > Why does the CRA end with a conclusion that
> > programs running on computers can never cause minds?
> 1) Minds have semantics and 2) as illustrated by the thought experiment, 
> formal programs do not suffice for semantics.
> Therefore formal programs do not suffice for minds.
> -gts

But, as Hauser is at pains to point out on that site you routed us to, NOBODY 
IS ARGUING THAT PROGRAMS UNIMPLEMENTATED cause minds. The issue hinges on what 
computers running particular programs can do, just as brains, running 
particular physical processes are said to cause minds!

So a conclusion about what "formal programs" can do is irrelevant to the 
"strong AI" thesis insofar as that thesis accurately names what it is 
computationalists in the AI field are trying to do in building genuinely 
conscious computers.

Moreover, the third premise is DEEPLY flawed because:

1) It is not demonstrated to be true in any causal sense by the CR (unless one 
already subscribes to a conception of consciousness which may not be correct); 

2) It is phrased in a misleadingly equivocal way that changes the meanings of 
the terms in mid argument.


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