[Wittrs] Re: (no subject) Gibberish and NonGibberish

  • From: "gabuddabout" <gabuddabout@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 19:03:50 -0000

--- In WittrsAMR@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "iro3isdx" <wittrsamr@...> wrote:
> --- In Wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "gabuddabout" <wittrsamr@> wrote:
> What was that gibberish?  Or at least it looked like gibberish on the yahoo 
> page.

Hi Neil,

I have no idea why that happened.  If induction be reliable, I would think it 
was neither my fault nor yahoo since most messages go off swimmingly.

I conclude nevertheless that I have no idea why that happened.

By the way, I can agree with you that the CR thought experiment falls short of 
a more rigorous proof of, say, something supposed to be learned empirically.

Its value, nevertheless, is the one I tried to point out amidst the unintended 
gibberish.  The AIers will be helpful or not in elucidating just what they are 

From recent discussion I've gleaned that there are two noncompeting research 
programs in the form of weak AI (how do we get artifacts to do what we want and 
what programs are necessary for exactly that) and biological naturalism a la 
Searle such that we look for "neurobiological correlates of consciousness" with 
our mind meters, say.. (NCCs) in order to find actual causal mechanisms later.

If the debate becomes one in which it is claimed that these two research 
programs are in conflict, one trying to argue that the other is incoherent, 
then it will be a matter for some independent thinking (or just reading the 
literature starting with Searle's target article).

Stuart used to argue that Searle was attempting to kill a possible research 
program by a logical argument.  But, really, Searle doesn't argue against weak 
AI.  And as far as myself, you, and Gordon know, weak AI is the holy grail 
these days and Searle doesn't argue a priori against its possible success, 
though I recall you have expressed a bit of reservation as to its possible 
success--and it may be the same sort of reservation Putnam has in mind 
considering the problem of abductive reasoning on the part of any AI system.  
Feel free to comment.  The above comment is inspired by Jeff Buechner's _Godel, 
Putnam, and Functionalism:  A New Reading of Representation and Reality_, 2007, 
wherein he challenges Putnam's arguments against computational functionalism.  
My sources are indeed fair and balanced!

I've recently learned that it is Hacker and Bennett who try to argue that the 
very thesis of Searle's biological naturalism is incoherent, i.e., that it is a 
mereological fallacy to suggest that the brain causes consciousness.

Credit to Stuart who, as far as I can tell, never ever endorsed Hacker's 
attempt to kill Searle's research program.

Credit to me for explaining why these research programs are not necessarily in 

They can be made to appear that they are in conflict, though, if one is 
selective in their description of each.

My suggestion, again, is that they are noncompeting research programs.

Anyone arguing otherwise is itching for a debate.

I welcome the debate while believing it to be an unnecessary one if both 
parties are on the square--it may be that one party simply prefers to study a 
particular subject matter.  And if so, so be it.  But if they get too chatty on 
other matters, they may welcome some critical censure, it is to be hoped..

Foe, er, for example:

From a review of Hacker:

"In the case of Searle, Bennett and Hacker find much with which they agree. 
Cartesian dualism, behaviorism, identity theory, eliminative materialism and 
functionalism are all rejected, and rightly so. Searle advocates "biological 
naturalism," the view that consciousness is a biological phenomenon, a proper 
subject of the biological sciences (p. 444). Bennett and Hacker serve up no 
objection here. It is when Searle claims that "mental phenomena are caused by 
neurophysiological processes in the brain and are themselves features of the 
brain" (Searle, Rediscovery, p. 1) that Bennett and Hacker demur. Searle's 
claim commits the mereological fallacy discussed earlier. Brains are no more 
conscious than they are capable of taking a walk or holding a conversation. 
True, no animal could do either of these things without a properly functioning 
brain. But it is the person, not the brain, that engages in these activities."


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  • » [Wittrs] Re: (no subject) Gibberish and NonGibberish - gabuddabout