John Searle's Chinese Room Argument

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John Searle's Chinese Room Argument The purpose of this paper is to present John Searle’s Chinese room argument in which it challenges the notions of the computational paradigm, specifically the ability of intentionality. Then I will outline two of the commentaries following, the first by Bruce Bridgeman, which is in opposition to Searle and uses the super robot to exemplify his point. Then I will discuss John Eccles’ response, which entails a general agreement with Searle with a few objections to definitions and comparisons. My own argument will take a minimalist computational approach delineating understanding and its importance to the concepts of the computational paradigm. Searle's argument delineates what he believes to be the invalidity of the computational paradigm's and artificial intelligence's (AI) view of the human mind. He first distinguishes between strong and weak AI. Searle finds weak AI as a perfectly acceptable investigation in that it uses the computer as a strong tool for studying the mind. This in effect does not observe or formulate any contentions as to the operation of the mind, but is used as another psychological, investigative mechanism. In contrast, strong AI states that the computer can be created so that it actually is the mind. We must first describe what exactly this entails. In order to be the mind, the computer must be able to not only understand, but to have cognitive states. Also, the programs by which the computer operates are the focus of the computational paradigm, and these are the explanations of the mental states. Searle's argument is against the claims of Shank and other computationalists who have created SHRDLU and ELIZA, that their computer programs can (1) be ascribe... ... middle of paper ... ... ha, I will say, this is just my point. Our brain does not simply receive input strings, process them, and output strings, there is a very specific and nonrandom association going on that is based on the motivations and inclinations at that time. In other words, it is directly influenced by those hormonal levels, which Bridgeman is so eager to disregard. For instance, I may think, “yum, a banana tastes very good,” because I am hungry right then. At another moment, I might refer to a visual representation of the banana, because I am painting a still life, and banana will do well for my composition. So in turn my fourth point would be that understanding is hormonal and motivational specific, changing, perhaps even from moment to moment. In summary, I feel computational understanding can be achieved at a secondary level, but the primary motivations are lacking.

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