On 9/14/2012 6:25 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 13 Sep 2012, at 22:08, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Thursday, September 13, 2012 3:58:21 PM UTC-4, John Clark wrote:

    On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM, Craig Weinberg
    <whats...@gmail.com <javascript:>> wrote:

        > This is the symbol grounding problem pointed out by
        Searle's Chinese Room

    I've said it before I'll say it again,  Searle's Chinese Room is
    the single stupidest thought experiment ever devised by the mind
    of man. Of course even the best of us can have a brain fart from
    time to time, but Searle baked this turd pie decades ago and
    apparently he still thinks its quite clever, and thus I can only
    conclude that John Searle is as dumb as his room.

The only way that you can think that it's stupid is if you don't understand it. It's the same thing as Leibniz Mill. His particulars may be a bit more elaborate than they need to be, but the point he makes is the same that has been made before by many others: The map is not the territory. The menu is not the meal.

To my mind, the fact that you have particular animus toward the Chinese Room can only be because on some level you know that it is a relatively simple way of proving something that you are in deep denial about. Why else would it bother you in particular? Are there other philosophical arguments that bother you like this?

I am with Clark on this, Craig. Searle either begs the question or confuses a program with the machine running the program. Dennett and Hofstadter explains this already very well in "Mind's I".

It is the same error as believing that RA can think like PA when emulating PA. But when RA emulates PA, it is like when I emulate another program, or Einstein's brain, I don't become that other program, nor do I become Einstein, in such case. It is again a confusion of level.


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/ <http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/%7Emarchal/>

Dear Bruno,

I agree with you. What you are pointing out is that one needs a "discordant system" to distinguish the levels that are involved. More often than not we run into problems because a pair of different levels are considered to be the same level by the person that does not understand the difference. This is called "flattening".




You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to