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Searle- Minds, Brains, Programs 2.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
Peter King

CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY: SEARLE (I) [1] Recall Searle’s extended example known as “the Chinese Room Argument” and the several respones he considers: (a) the Systems Reply, that somehow the whole system of person, lookup table, and bits of paper do have an understanding of Chinese; (b) the Robot Reply, that we need a more thoroughgoing kind of interaction between the computer and the world in order to generate machine understanding; (c) the Brain Simulator Reply, that the correct level for AI is neuronal, having to do with the firing of synapses and the like; (d) the Combination Reply, which maintains that the combination of (a)–(c) is sufficient for intelligence; (e) the Other Minds Reply, that the sort of understanding the person in the Chinese Room has is all that any native speaker would have; and (f ) the Many Mansions Reply, which downplays any particular technological implementation in favor of the more general claim that some version will be able to implement intelligence. [2] These are not the only possible responses, but they do a remarkably good job of covering the field. Discussion of Searle is ongoing, continuing even today, with some people being completely convinced by his negative argument, other committed to the view that it must be wrong, though there is still no consensus as yet on what about it is wrong. [3] Searle himself draws a particular conclusion from his own argument, one that has not gen- erally won assent but which is hard to avoid if you think his argument work
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