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Episteme

Abstract

The Chinese Room argument shows that the Turing test functions only by syntax, thereby revealing that the notion of meaning is not properly accounted for by the test. Thus, Searle is convincing in his refutation of the Turing test for strong artificial intelligence. Yet, while the mind is not like a program running on certain hardware, the brain is. But thinking, Searle’s real interest, is not simply running the appropriate program! Therefore, rather than providing a solution to the Mind-Body problem, Searle’s conclusion about AI begs the question about what causes semantics. Searle’s logic goes awry somewhere, and, for this author, Searle errs when he claims that syntax is insufficient for semantics. Since Searle seems committed to the idea that “brains cause minds,” couldn’t a sufficiently sophisticated artificial brain (such as an advanced digital computer) cause an artificial mind? Doesn’t Searle, himself, admit as much?

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