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John Searle takes the Chinese Room Argument beyond the Turing machine model in the "brain simulator reply" in section III in Minds, Brains and Programs: The problem with the brain simulator is that it is simulating the wrong things about the brain. As long as it simulates only the formal structure of the sequence of neuron firings at the synapses, it won'...


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I think perhaps the issue at hand is the word symbol. A symbol is not a picture. A symbol is a representation of some other concept. We might talk about the queen of England being a symbol. We might talk about a gift or action being a symbolic gesture of remorse. Even when pictures are used they can represent different things: usually 5 represents the number ...


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Sadly I still am not yet allowed to comment, so I'll do so by an answer to @Roddus who says The question is still there: why apply the idea of manipulation of external interpretable shapes to the uninterpretable things on the inside? Any programmer who has had to analyse program dumps will know that at least in theory it is all interpretable. The ...


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