[Wittrs] Re: The Ontologically Basic Fallacy

  • From: "SWM" <SWMirsky@xxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2010 15:41:48 -0000

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

> --- On Thu, 3/25/10, SWM <wittrsamr@...> wrote:
> > Right. He doesn't say if there are other reasons to believe
> > the CRA's conclusion is true. But the issue is whether the
> > CRA is an adequate argument to imply the truth of its
> > conclusion. It is perfectly possible that there are
> > empirical reasons for thinking the conclusion true. But
> > Searle's argument isn't built on any of those. It is built
> > on the three premises in the body of the argument. He is
> > saying that a dualist (of the Cartesian variety) would hold
> > this view but he leaves open the question of whether there
> > are other reasons. 

> Cartesian dualists reject strong AI a priori, before any considerations about 
> any kind of CRA, so Dennett tells us nothing important when he points out 
> that Cartesian dualists would agree with Searle.

Dennett's point is that the CRA conclusion is entirely consistent with 
Cartesian dualism and that that kind of thinking is what it takes to believe 
the CRA's conclusion is true (even if one might think so for other reasons 
outside the CRA).

> Dennet's argument amounts to nothing more than name calling. He cannot offer 
> a real rebuttal to Searle -- he cannot explain *HOW* syntax can give 
> semantics -- so he resorts to subtle ad hominem.

He does. That's the point of his book we were discussing. It's thesis does 
precisely that. It's not ad hominem to note that the problem with the CRA is it 
implies a belief in consciousness as a bottom line irreducible property rather 
than as a system property.

> If Searle's CRA demonstrated that 2+2=4 then Dennett might have 
> counter-argued, as evidence against that conclusion, that people who believe 
> in the tooth fairy also believe that 2+2=4.
> -gts

Dennett's argument is NOT that Cartesian dualists opposes Strong AI, as you put 
it, so anyone opposing Strong AI must be one. It's that it takes THAT kind of 
thinking about consciousness to believe the CRA conclusion against the 
possibility of Strong AI is true.


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