John Searle's Chinese Room Argument Essay

John Searle's Chinese Room Argument Essay

Length: 1990 words (5.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

John Searle's Chinese Room Argument Essay

- 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....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1990 words (5.7 pages)

Essay on The Chinese Room Argument

- John Searle formulated the Chinese Room Argument in the early 80’s as an attempt to prove that computers are not cognitive operating systems. In short though the immergence of artificial and computational systems has rapidly increased the infinite possibility of knowledge, Searle uses the Chinese room argument to shown that computers are not cognitively independent. John Searle developed two areas of thought concerning the independent cognition of computers. These ideas included the definition of a weak AI and a strong AI....   [tags: Computer Science]

Powerful Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)

Chinese Room Scenario by John R. Searle Essay

- Chinese Room Scenario by John R. Searle Through the use of his famous Chinese room scenario, John R. Searle tries to prove there is no way artificial intelligence can exist. This means that machines do not posses minds. The debate between those who are in favor of strong and weak artificial intelligence (AI) is directly related to the philosophy of mind. The claim of weak AI is that it is possible to run a program on a machine, which will behave as if it were a thinking thing. Believers of strong AI say that it is possible to create a program running on a machine which not only behaves as if it were thinking, but does actually think....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
517 words (1.5 pages)

Turing, Searle, and Artificial Intelligence Essay

- The conditions of the present scenario are as follows: a machine, Siri*, capable of passing the Turing test, is being insulted by a 10 year old boy, whose mother is questioning the appropriateness of punishing him for his behavior. We cannot answer the mother's question without speculating as to what A.M. Turing and John Searle, two 20th century philosophers whose views on artificial intelligence are starkly contrasting, would say about this predicament. Furthermore, we must provide fair and balanced consideration for both theorists’ viewpoints because, ultimately, neither side can be “correct” in this scenario....   [tags: Artificial Intelligence Essays]

Powerful Essays
1275 words (3.6 pages)

Essay William Lycan's Response to John Searle

- William Lycan's response as a functionalist seems to be one of the most interesting responses to Searle's paper. However, it also appears to be one of the most empty. Lycan's reaction as a functionalist appears to be very similar to the systems reply. In response to Searle's paper, both the systems reply and Lycan's functionalist response claim that while the individual person locked in the room does not understand the story, the system as a whole does understand the story. Lycan basically writes a logical response to Searle's paper with empty arguments....   [tags: Philosophy]

Free Essays
801 words (2.3 pages)

Searle’s Argument against Free Will Essay

- Searle’s argument is one against humans having free will. The conclusion comes from his view on determinism and his view on substances. His view on substances is a materialist one. To him, the entire world is composed of material substances. All occurrences can be explained by these materials. This is a view that is very attuned with (accepting) determinism. Determinism states that necessary causes must be for the occurrence to be. This deterministic cause and effect relationship is apparent in the physical world....   [tags: Philosophy]

Powerful Essays
1849 words (5.3 pages)

Why Machines Cannot Have Conciousness Essay

- Machines are made to calculate, capture and store images. Machines are also made to help make individual's lives easier and more efficient. For instance, we are able to keep records of our financial transactions through computers. Also, we are now able to communicate with other individuals from different countries because of technology. As technology advances, some individuals are considering machines to have qualities similar to human beings, such as a consciousness and the structure of the human body....   [tags: Alan Turing, John Searle]

Powerful Essays
1282 words (3.7 pages)

Searle’s Solution to the Missing Object Problem Essay

- Let us imagine that to play a joke on her new friend Suzy, Jenny tells her all about her cocker spaniel. Jenny tells Suzy that her dog’s name is Sally, that Sally has long blonde hair, and that she loves to eat table scraps. The only problem is that Sally does not really exist ¾ but Jenny doesn’t tell this to Suzy. Because of this, Suzy forms all sorts of beliefs about Jenny’s cocker spaniel. She believes that it is named Sally, that it has long blonde hair and loves to eat table scraps, and perhaps a few other beliefs....   [tags: Searle Philosophy Philosophical Essays]

Free Essays
2683 words (7.7 pages)

Artificial Inteligence in John Searle’s paper: Minds, Brains, and Programs

- Searle’s paper, “Minds, Brains, and Programs”, was originally published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences in 1980. It has become one of modern philosophy’s (and broadly, cognitive science’s) most disputed and discussed pieces due to the nature of the argument presented in the paper. In said paper, John Searle sought, or should I say, seeks, to dispute the claim that artificial intelligence in the form of computers and programs do, or at the most basic level, could (one day), think for their synthetic selves; essentially it’s a refutation of the idea that computers or programs can actually “understand” in the same way that a human can....   [tags: Robots, Computers, Programs]

Powerful Essays
1961 words (5.6 pages)

Philosophy and Multiculturalism: Searle, Rorty, and Taylor Essay

- Philosophy and Multiculturalism: Searle, Rorty, and Taylor ABSTRACT: John Searle opposes multiculturalism because he views it as part of a movement to undermine the concepts of truth and objectivity in the Western tradition. Richard Rorty disagrees with Searle about the relation between philosophical theories of truth and academic practices, but he is neutral on the issue of multiculturalism. Charles Taylor approaches the issue historically, defending multiculturalism as emerging from one branch of liberal political theory....   [tags: Education Philosophical Essays]

Powerful Essays
3043 words (8.7 pages)