[Wittrs] Re: Who lost to Deep Blue?

  • From: "SWM" <SWMirsky@xxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 22:27:37 -0000

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

> --- On Fri, 3/19/10, jrstern <wittrsamr@...> wrote:
> > Can you show us who ever said syntax *is* either
> > constitutive or sufficient for semantics?
> Stuart seems to think it is.

I think it is conceivable it is and that, certainly, Searle's claim that it 
isn't is not obviously true or axiomatic at all. It is just an expression of a 
particular intuition we have.

> Searle gives us these three axioms:
> A1) Programs are formal (syntactic).
> A2) Minds have mental contents (semantics).
> A3) Syntax by itself is neither constitutive of nor sufficient for semantics.
> It follows from these three axioms that:
> C1) Programs are neither constitutive of nor sufficient for minds.
> Stuart doesn't like C1 and A1 and A2 look bullet-proof so he disputes A3.

A3 is the one the CR is intended to demonstrate but it only does that if one 
thinks understanding (the proxy for mind in this argument) is or must be a 
process property, in which case it must be present as an essential property of 
some processes (like those happening in brains) but not of others, like those 
in computers, because when we look at what the CR CPU is doing it doesn't have 
THAT property.

But once you see it as a system, rather than a process, property, the "obvious" 
nature of the claim disappears!

> But I consider A3 no less bullet-proof than A1 or A2.
> -gts

That's just an expression of your current conception of this. If you could 
bring yourself to think in terms of system properties you could see, as I did, 
that the right system could theoretically be conscious, even if it's not 
running in brains.


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