[Wittrs] Re: Who beat Kasparov?

  • From: Gordon Swobe <gts_2000@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 05:32:20 -0700 (PDT)

--- On Wed, 3/17/10, SWM <wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>> Either Deep Blue beat Kasparov or IBM's
>> programmers and engineers beat Kasparov. I challenge you to
>> make up your mind.
> Why do you think it's just a simple this or that, black or
> white? Life and language aren't like that. There are senses
> and contexts, and so forth. How I view it will depend on
> context and it seems to me that in the context that is
> alluded to in the Dennett text you quoted, it is perfectly
> reasonable to say Deep Blue beat Kasparov. 

In casual conversation we say many things that seem reasonable but which on 
close inspection demand clarity. This question of who/what beat Kasparov seems 
to me such a case. I see it as a good test case for ferreting out your real 
convictions, if any, about the supposed mental states of computers. If you 
cannot formulate a clear answer then it seems pointless to discuss the CRA.
Do you understand the meaning of as-if intentionality? I hope to find some 
common vocabulary here.

You asked for a definition of intentionality. I offer a good working definition 
from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: 

"Intentionality is the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand 
for, things, properties and states of affairs."

Kasparov has intentionality, specifically about the states of affairs on the 
chess board. Deep Blue has only AS-IF intentionality about those same states of 
affairs; that is, we speak of Deep Blue AS IF it has conscious mental contents 
but it has none. Deep Blue exists as a mindless machine with no more mental 
contents than a can-opener.

Because Deep Blue has only as-if intentionality, we can say only that Deep Blue 
behaved as-if it beat Kasparov. 

In reality the designers of Deep BLue beat Kasparov using Deep Blue as a tool. 
Nothing as-if about that fact.



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