Searle intentionality essay

The Chinese room has a design analogous to that of a modern computer. It has a Von Neumann architecture , which consists of a program (the book of instructions), some memory (the papers and file cabinets), a CPU which follows the instructions (the man), and a means to write symbols in memory (the pencil and eraser). A machine with this design is known in theoretical computer science as " Turing complete ", because it has the necessary machinery to carry out any computation that a Turing machine can do, and therefore it is capable of doing a step-by-step simulation of any other digital machine, given enough memory and time. Alan Turing writes, "all digital computers are in a sense equivalent." [48] The widely accepted Church-Turing thesis holds that any function computable by an effective procedure is computable by a Turing machine.

Let's call a string of characters that can be typed in an hour or less a "typable" string. In principle, all typable strings could be generated, and a team of intelligent programmers could throw out all the strings which cannot be interpreted as a conversation in which at least one party (say the second contributor) is making sense. The remaining strings (call them the sensible strings) could be stored in an hypothetical computer (say, with marks separating the contributions of the separate parties), which works as follows. The judge types in something. Then the machine locates a string that starts with the judge's remark, spitting back its next element. The judge then types something else. The machine finds a string that begins with the judge's first contribution, followed by the machine's, followed by the judge's next contribution (the string will be there since all sensible strings are there), and then the machine spits back its fourth element, and so on. (We can eliminate the simplifying assumption that the judge speaks first by recording pairs of strings; this would also allow the judge and the machine to talk at the same time.) Of course, such a machine is only logically possible, not physically possible. The number of strings is too vast to exist, and even if they could exist, they could never be accessed by any sort of a machine in anything like real time. But since we are considering a proposed definition of intelligence that is supposed to capture the concept of intelligence, conceptual possibility will do the job. If the concept of intelligence is supposed to be exhausted by the ability to pass the Turing Test, then even a universe in which the laws of physics are very different from ours should contain exactly as many unintelligent Turing test passers as married bachelors, namely zero.

The Connectionist Reply (as it might be called) is set forth---along with a recapitulation of the Chinese room argument and a rejoinder by Searle---by Paul and Patricia Churchland in a 1990 Scientific American piece. The Churchlands criticize the crucial third "axiom" of Searle's "derivation" by attacking his would-be supporting thought experimental result. This putative result, they contend, gets much if not all of its plausibility from the lack of neurophysiological verisimilitude in the thought-experimental setup. Instead of imagining Searle working alone with his pad of paper and lookup table, like the Central Processing Unit of a serial architecture machine, the Churchlands invite us to imagine a more brainlike connectionist architecture. Imagine Searle-in-the-room, then, to be just one of very many agents, all working in parallel, each doing their own small bit of processing (like the many neurons of the brain). Since Searle-in-the-room, in this revised scenario, does only a very small portion of the total computational job of generating sensible Chinese replies in response to Chinese input, naturally he himself does not comprehend the whole process; so we should hardly expect him to grasp or to be conscious of the meanings of the communications he is involved, in such a minor way, in processing.

Working on the intentionality of vision, belief, and knowledge, Pierre Le Morvan (2005) [18] has distinguished between three basic kinds of intentionality that he dubs "transparent", "translucent", and "opaque" respectively. The threefold distinction may be explained as follows. Let's call the "intendum" what an intentional state is about, and the "intender" the subject who is in the intentional state. An intentional state is transparent if it satisfies the following two conditions: (i) it is genuinely relational in that it entails the existence of not just the intender but the intendum as well, and (ii) substitutivity of identicals applies to the intendum (. if the intentional state is about a, and a = b, then the intentional state is about b as well). An intentional state is translucent if it satisfies (i) but not (ii). An intentional state is opaque if it satisfies neither (i) nor (ii).

Searle intentionality essay

searle intentionality essay

Working on the intentionality of vision, belief, and knowledge, Pierre Le Morvan (2005) [18] has distinguished between three basic kinds of intentionality that he dubs "transparent", "translucent", and "opaque" respectively. The threefold distinction may be explained as follows. Let's call the "intendum" what an intentional state is about, and the "intender" the subject who is in the intentional state. An intentional state is transparent if it satisfies the following two conditions: (i) it is genuinely relational in that it entails the existence of not just the intender but the intendum as well, and (ii) substitutivity of identicals applies to the intendum (. if the intentional state is about a, and a = b, then the intentional state is about b as well). An intentional state is translucent if it satisfies (i) but not (ii). An intentional state is opaque if it satisfies neither (i) nor (ii).

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