[Wittrs] Re: Who beat Kasparov?

  • From: "jrstern" <jrstern@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2010 01:16:34 -0000

--- In Wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Gordon Swobe <wittrsamr@...> wrote:
> --- On Tue, 3/16/10, SWM <wittrsamr@...> wrote:
> >> I believe the designers at IBM created Deep Blue as a
> >> tool for beating Kasparov at chess. They, not Deep Blue,
> >> beat Kasparov.
> >
> > Yes, but isn't this mainly an artifact of how we choose to
> > look at it?
> No.

If you ask, "Who beat Kasparov?", Deep Blue is not a who, so there is really no 

Yet, it's not clear that the only people who might be considered, really did 
the beating.

Could they have beat Kasparov without the computer?

So maybe Kasparov just didn't lose to a "who".

Have you stopped beating your wife?

> In serious conversation about objective reality (I assume here perhaps 
> wrongly that you subscribe to the correspondence theory of truth or something 
> close to it) there exists a real fact of the matter as to who/what beat 
> Kasparov at chess. Either Deep Blue beat Kasparov or IBM's programmers and 
> engineers beat Kasparov.

False choice.  Stamp your feet a little more, maybe that will help.

> On my view Deep Blue has only AS-IF intentionality and no claim to victory. 
> We (meaning you and Dennett and me when I humor you) speak of Deep Blue *as 
> if* it has intentionality, but of course Deep Blue has no intrinsic 
> intentionality; that machine has no real subjective experience this side of 
> science-fiction. Right, Stuart?
> Do you recognize the distinction between as-if and intrinsic intentionality? 
> Do you even have an idea what I mean here? If you don't recognize this 
> distinction then it hardly makes sense to discuss the CRA.

The claim is clear, but I doubt it is valid.

I'm more extreme than Stuart, I don't think these varieties of intentionality 
make much sense.  All Searle's claims come down to is that humans are 
privileged and so can have "original" intentionality, while non-human things, 
can't.  But that's a claim, not a fact.  Or else it's a definition, and not 

Let's say he does not consider it a definition but a point to be argued.  He 
argues it, but that doesn't make it a fact, it is still
a question at issue.  OTOH, I do believe in something that is *a* variety of 
intentionality, unlike Dennett who mostly wants to explain it away.  I do 
believe in preserving the phenomenon.

But on that note, what do you think "intentionality" means?  "The mark of the 
mental", right?  Does a person have it, or is it the property of a thought?  I 
believe on consideration, Searle goes back and forth on this.  As a term of 
art, intentionality is some form of "aboutness", right?  Are we talking about 
the same thing?  Does a human as a person have "aboutness"?  To what?  The 
homonym is intention to do something.  "I intend to buy a boat".  Yet another 
possible meaning is some quale of intention.  If you stick to just the original 
version, the property and mystery of how a propositional attitude can be about 
some distal object, you may find that Searle does not really make a consistent 
claim at all.

I'll note that in recent years, it appears to me that the journal Mind tends to 
spell the word "intenxion", I presume because of chronic confusion between 
"intention" and "intension", just to bring up yet more alternatives.  To think 
that any of these words has a tight definition seems very dubious.  If you have 
a theory about one or another variety, best to spell it out very carefully.  As 
I suggest Searle does not.


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