[Wittrs] Re: What the Man in the Room Knows (and when does he know it?)

  • From: Gordon Swobe <gts_2000@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 16:41:54 -0700 (PDT)

--- On Wed, 3/24/10, iro3isdx <wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Okay.  It is good to have a point of agreement.


>> But according to the computationalist theory of mind,
>> ordinary brains do exactly what we agree they cannot do. And if
>> computationalism = false then strong AI = false.
> I am not arguing for computationalism. You can count
> me as a skeptic on that.  

Good. Perhaps you don't understand that if computationalism = false then strong 
AI = false. 

Searle only gives weak AI the benefit of the doubt when he asks the reader to 
suppose that his brain/mind has enough memory and power to implement a program 
for understanding Chinese well enough to pass the TT. Would he then by virtue 
of operating that program have understanding? No he would not.

And by the way thought experiments can contain anything logically conceivable. 

We can conceive of a Searle with a brain large enough and powerful enough to 
internalize and operate the program and pass the TT. Alternatively, we can 
conceive of a Searle on, say, a pacific island somewhere where he memorizes and 
operates a program in a language with a small and relatively simple lexicon. In 
neither case would Searle understand the meanings of the symbols solely by 
virtue of implementing the program. 

If human brains run programs then they must do something else besides. But like 
you I doubt they run programs at all.


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