# COGS 100 Lecture Notes - Physical Symbol System, Engineered Language, Symbol Grounding Problem

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15 Nov 2012
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COGS 100 Week 7 Lecture 2
Language of Thoughts con't
Importance of physical symbol system hypothesis:
What is:
Intelligent behaviour <=> PSS
Main characteristic: are physical, can be represented in world, expressed outside of ourselves
Have both physical and abstract aspect - the meaning assigned to those symbols
Symbolic patterns stand for physical structures
Patterns are manipulated by algorithms - results in different patterns
Relates to problem solving: move from initial state to goal state; particular algorithms solve certain
problems
Universal can read any PSS (true ones)?
Problem: Chinese Room Experiment - does it truly UNDERSTAND symbols? Knows syntax, not
semantics.
Symbol grounding problem - how meaning is assigned to symbol
Lang of thought - Fodor:
Resemble formal, logical languages
Use to think, perform operations
All hear same thing, all hear "Cat" but hear it in a different way (polymorphism)
Beliefs and desires, fears, hopes are physical symbols, objects, patterns, cause us to behave in a certain
way
Ex: I am thirsty. That is a physical symbol. Changed to a desire to drink. Causes me to go get a glass of
water.
Cause reactions
Propositional attitudes (these things) have shape
Syntax as a form - how get from that to meaning? How is it mapped? How does meaning result in action?
Lang of thought functions just like a Turning machine or any other PSS
Symbols, processed represented by symbols, carried out on symbols
Operate exclusively algorithmically - cares about semantics, but also does not
Rules expressed symbolically
Logical terms I don't remember and syllogism!
True conclusion if conclusion is output of premise: if p -> q, p, q
That is validity - is the form. Are formal steps to follow from instructions.
Semantics -> about truth of argument. Argument can be valid but not true.
Language of thought needs to follow these principles.
Operations must respect rules of syntax, but also rules of meaning
If p, q you have p^q
Existential quantifiers
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