The Chinese Room Argument Reconsidered: Essentialism, Indeterminacy, and Strong AI View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2003-05

AUTHORS

Jerome C. Wakefield

ABSTRACT

I argue that John Searle's (1980) influential Chinese room argument (CRA) against computationalism and strong AI survives existing objections, including Block's (1998) internalized systems reply, Fodor's (1991b) deviant causal chain reply, and Hauser's (1997) unconscious content reply. However, a new ``essentialist'' reply I construct shows that the CRA as presented by Searle is an unsound argument that relies on a question-begging appeal to intuition. My diagnosis of the CRA relies on an interpretation of computationalism as a scientific theory about the essential nature of intentional content; such theories often yield non-intuitive results in non-standard cases, and so cannot be judged by such intuitions. However, I further argue that the CRA can be transformed into a potentially valid argument against computationalism simply by reinterpreting it as an indeterminacy argument that shows that computationalism cannot explain the ordinary distinction between semantic content and sheer syntactic manipulation, and thus cannot be an adequate account of content. This conclusion admittedly rests on the arguable but plausible assumption that thought content is interestingly determinate. I conclude that the viability of computationalism and strong AI depends on their addressing the indeterminacy objection, but that it is currently unclear how this objection can be successfully addressed. More... »

PAGES

285-319

References to SciGraph publications

Journal

TITLE

Minds and Machines

ISSUE

2

VOLUME

13

Author Affiliations

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1023/a:1022947527614

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/a:1022947527614

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1009667061


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