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A view inside the Chinese room

Bishop, Mark (J. M.). 2004. A view inside the Chinese room. Philosopher, 28(4), pp. 47-51. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Perhaps the most famous critic of computational theories of mind is John Searle. His best-known work on machine understanding, first presented in the 1980 paper ‘Minds,
Brains & Programs’ (MBP), has become known as the Chinese Room Argument (CRA). The central claim of the CRA, are that computations alone cannot, in principle, give rise to cognitive states, and that they therefore computational theories of mind cannot fully explain human cognition. More formally Searle (1994) stated
that the Chinese Room Argument (CRA) was an attempt to prove the truth of the premise:
1. Syntax is not sufficient for semantics
… which, together with the following two axioms:
2. Programs are formal, (syntactical)
3. [Human] Minds have semantics, (mental content)
… led him to conclude that ‘programs are not minds’ and hence that computationalism - the idea that the essence of thinking lies in computational processes and that such processes thereby underlie and explain conscious thinking - is false.

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Date Deposited:

01 Dec 2015 11:10

Last Modified:

20 Jun 2017 09:39

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/15129
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