I figured out the rest of panels, but stuck on this one. I think it's related to philosophy of language, but I can't pin down more specific answer for this one.

Here's the panel

As far as I understand it's about a man who can't understand Chinese at all and the only thing he can use is some type of manual. So I've concluded it's mocking some kind of language theory I'm not aware about.

I've searched through author's blog, but it's already dead (link: link to the blog post in Wayback Machine). It's only accessible through web archive. Also googled key words and the only thing I found is Wikipedia page about "philosophy of language". I couldn't find more specific things, so I was wondering, maybe somebody knows more about it?

Please, point me in the right direction.

Also I'll add the full comic just in case:

Full comic

If you're curious, I think other panels are about (I did some research):

  1. Allegory of the cave;
  2. Demon (thought experiment), more specifically Descartes’ malicious demon;
  3. Zeno's paradoxes;
  4. Veil of ignorance (moral reasoning device);
  5. (?);
  6. Ship of Theseus.

1 Answer 1



Probably this argument about how an AI would still not be conscious if it passed the Turing test as it would be like a person answering Chinese questions without actually understanding Chinese.

  • 1
    Thank you for answering! I'll mark your answer as a solution a little bit later (right now I can't).
    – Hakito
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 17:35

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