Questions tagged [john-searle]

For questions about the work of John Searle (1932-), an american philosopher working in the analytic tradition.

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Why does Searle's room receive three batches of Chinese characters and two English instruction manuals as input?

Searle's Chinese room receives input in the form of a batch of chinese characters, then twice after receives a batch of Chinese. The second batch of Chinese comes with English instructions for "...
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107 views

Why are referring and predicating distinct from illocutionary acts?

I have been reading Searle's Speech Acts and he mentioned that in the four sentences mentioned below, while they share the same reference (Sam) and predication (smoking habitually), they are four ...
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A reply to the Chinese room argument

All replies to the Chinese Room Argument (CRA) that I've seen assume the computer science concept (explanation, "definition" as Searle says) of the electronic digital computer. But what of other ...
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158 views

Does strong AI disprove physicalism?

This question is motivated by a comment to an answer I provided to another question about John Searle and the Chinese Room Argument: What relevance, if any, does collective memory in ants have to John ...
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142 views

What relevance, if any, does collective memory in ants have to John Searle's Chinese Room argument?

In his Chinese room argument, Searle dismisses the possibility that a system of separate agents can possess collective knowledge even if the individuals don't have it. Yet, it's possible that ant ...
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174 views

What is Searle's argument against machine functionalism?

what is searle's main argument Machine functionalism?
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108 views

How could a computer acquire knowledge of its environment?

I've quite often seen AI respond to John Searle's Chinese room argument by accepting the systems reply: while the man in the room doesn't understand Chinese, the room (the system) as a whole could - ...
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1answer
109 views

Where to find the “tightened up” definitions of computing mentioned by Searle?

I think it is probably possible to block the result of universal realizability by tightening up our definition of computation. Certainly we ought to respect the fact that programmers and engineers ...
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533 views

Can computers do things Turing machines can't?

Today's electronic digital computers are often referred to as universal Turing machines. That is, the concept of the UTM is used to understand today's stored-program electronic digital computers. But ...
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616 views

Why doesn't the Chinese room learn Chinese?

I just can't see how John Searle's Chinese room makes sense. The room passes the Turing test. People outside the room think there's a human inside who understands Chinese. But, Searle explains, the ...
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63 views

Doubt in Searle's Mind: A Brief Introduction

I have been reading Searle's Mind: A Brief Introduction, Oxford UP (2004). In it I came across the passage in Chapter 2: if we believe that p and if we believe that if p then q we will believe ...
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179 views

Does adding structure make the Chinese room semantic?

The Chinese room reacts just to syntax, or shape of symbols (is purely syntactic). But brains are full of structure. In the room, Chinese symbols sit scattered in "piles" on the floor or are moved ...
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156 views

Do relationships rebut the Chinese room argument?

Searle says syntax is neither sufficient for nor constitutive of semantics, all a computer gets (eg from sensors) is syntax (tokenised shapes) therefore computers will never understand the world. ...
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The Chinese room ain't no computer – but does it matter? [duplicate]

Central to Searle's Chinese room argument is his claim that the room has the semantic properties of an electronic digital computer. In a post a few days ago in a discussion about the semantics, I ...
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540 views

Does it make sense to define a computer as a symbol-manipulating device?

Searle (John Searle (1997), The Mystery of Consciousness, p9) says “A computer is by definition a device that manipulates formal symbols”. What does he mean? How do you define a piece of electronic ...
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186 views

Why wouldn't Searle learn Chinese in his Room given infinite time?

Humans have an amazing capacity for pattern recognition. I don't understand Searle's assertion "it seems to me quite obvious in the example that I do not understand a word of the Chinese stories." Of ...
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300 views

Why does Searle think that consciousness is “obviously” physical?

One response to Searle's Chinese room argument is that the room has a virtual mind. From Wikipedia's article on the Chinese room: "Minsky argues, a computer may contain a "mind" that is virtual in ...
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345 views

How is this premises and conclusion to refute Searle's CR experiment?

So I've been digging into this topic for days now. I've gone through his paper and also some threads here, which I found were very helpful. I came up with these premises and following conclusions in ...
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724 views

How can Searle's Chinese Room argument refute to this argument? [duplicate]

I'm a relatively new student studying philosophy and became interested in the computer models of mind. I've read John Searle's CR experiment and had a quick thought. How can CR experiment refute to ...
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766 views

What is this reply to the Chinese Room argument?

The following reply to the Chinese Room argument came to my mind recently: The whole activity of manipulating symbols described in CR is understanding in the usual sense of the word. My ...
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260 views

Does a philosophy of language presuppose a philosophy of mind?

Ever since the "linguistic turn", philosophers have been keenly aware of the need of analyzing certain questions about language. In retrospect, John Searle, in Expression and Meaning, notes "the ...
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240 views

Can there be a sufficient account of meaning without an account of intentionality?

Much has been said in recent philosophy in criticism of representationalist theories of meaning. The idea is that any representation can represent what it will only in a prior, limiting context. ...
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258 views

Can there be intentionality without consciousness?

Searle distinguishes between intrinsic intentionality of the mind... vs 'as-if' intentionality of physical objects like a computer, book, picture etc... that depend on conscious minds to exhibit ...
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How does human intelligence differ from Searle's chinese room?

The Chinese Room argument attempts to prove that a computer, no matter how powerful, cannot achieve consciousness. Brief summary: Imagine a native English speaker who knows no Chinese locked in a ...
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How can one refute John Searle's “syntax is not semantics” argument against strong AI?

There are many refutations of John Searle's Chinese Room argument against Strong AI. But they seem to be addressing the structure of the thought experiment itself, as opposed to the underlying ...
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531 views

What is wrong with the following argument for dualism?

In listening to the following philosophy of mind lecture by John Searle, and he mentions in passing the following argument against materialism (starting around 43 minutes into to the lecture): ...
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471 views

Unconscious Mental States and the Ontological Subjectivity of Reality

Searle claims that social reality is ontologically subjective. By this, should one interpret him as meaning that our perception of reality is ontologically subjective since perception requires ...
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Are there philosophers who further develop ideas by Searle?

I'm reading a bit about John Searle's philosophies of mind and language at the moment. In his language lectures he keeps emphasizing that his views aren't considered mainstream. Are there any ...
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756 views

Searle on morality

Specifying my first question on Searle, I am looking for papers by Searle or others that deal with Searle's notion of moral responsibility or morality in general. I found a great deal about free will, ...
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193 views

Are there any replies to Searle's philosophy of mind but Bennett's and Hacker's?

For a term paper I am looking for specific responses to Searle's philosophy of mind (though it's hard to even call it that) as presented in Minds, Brains and Science or the paper Consciousness (2000). ...
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302 views

Emulation, simulation and the real thing

The description of the strong AI position in the wikipedia article on the Chinese room describes the blurring of the difference between a simulation and the real thing with respect to the mind: The ...
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Does Searle's Chinese Room model computers correctly?

Searle invented a thought experiment, the Chinese Room, which he proposes is an argument against Strong AI (that machines think) but not against Weak AI (that machines simulate thinking), he has a man ...
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521 views

What other philosophy of mind books might be recommended if I like John Searle?

What other philosophy of mind books might be recommended if I like John Searle? I am an engineer who is interested in AI and the possibility of machines become able to think and the philosophy behind ...
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7k views

What are the retorts to Searle's Chinese Room?

Searle's Chinese Room basically argues that a program cannot make a computer 'intelligent'. Searle summarises the argument as Imagine a native English speaker who knows no Chinese locked in a room ...