David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Behavior and Philosophy 22 (1):23 - 28 (1994)
In connection with John Searle's denial that computers genuinely act, Hauser considers Searle's attempt to distinguish full-blooded acts of agents (e.g., my raising my arm) from mere physical movements (my arm going up) on the basis of intent. The difference between me raising my arm and my arm's just going up (e.g., if you forcibly raise it), on Searle's account, is the causal involvement of my intention to raise my arm in the former, but not the latter, case. Yet, we distinguish a similar difference between a robot's raising its arm and its robot arm just going up (e.g., if you manually raise it). Either robots are rightly credited with intentions, or it is not intention that distinguishes action from mere movement. In either case full-blooded acts under "aspects" are attributable to robots and computers. Since the truth of such attributions depends on "intrinsic" features of the things not on the speaker's "intentional stance," they are not merely figurative "as if" attributions.
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