Artificial intelligence and personal identity

Synthese 88 (September):399-417 (1991)
Abstract
Considerations of personal identity bear on John Searle's Chinese Room argument, and on the opposed position that a computer itself could really understand a natural language. In this paper I develop the notion of a virtual person, modelled on the concept of virtual machines familiar in computer science. I show how Searle's argument, and J. Maloney's attempt to defend it, fail. I conclude that Searle is correct in holding that no digital machine could understand language, but wrong in holding that artificial minds are impossible: minds and persons are not the same as the machines, biological or electronic, that realize them.
Keywords Artificial Intelligence  Metaphysics  Mind  Personal Identity  Searle, J
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    References found in this work BETA
    Philip Cam (1990). Searle on Strong AI. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):103-8.
    David J. Cole (1991). Artificial Minds: Cam on Searle. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69 (September):329-33.

    View all 21 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    David J. Cole (1994). Thought and Qualia. Minds and Machines 4 (3):283-302.
    William Rapaport (2011). Yes, She Was! Minds and Machines 21 (1):3-17.
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    Stevan Harnad (1989). Minds, Machines and Searle. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 1 (4):5-25.
    Kevin Warwick (2002). Alien Encounters. In John M. Preston & John Mark Bishop (eds.), Views Into the Chinese Room: New Essays on Searle and Artificial Intelligence. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 308.
    David Marr (1977). Artificial Intelligence: A Personal View. Artificial Intelligence 9 (September):37-48.
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