Reaping the whirlwind [Book Review]

Minds and Machines 3 (2):219-237 (1993)
Abstract
Harnad's proposed "robotic upgrade" of Turing's Test (TT), from a test of linguistic capacity alone to a Total Turing Test (TTT) of linguistic and sensorimotor capacity, conflicts with his claim that no behavioral test provides even probable warrant for attributions of thought because there is "no evidence" [p.45] of consciousness besides "private experience" [p.52]. Intuitive, scientific, and philosophical considerations Harnad offers in favor of his proposed upgrade are unconvincing. I agree with Harnad that distinguishing real from "as if" thought on the basis of (presence or lack of) consciousness (thus rejecting Turing (behavioral) testing as sufficient warrant for mental attribution) has the skeptical consequence Harnad accepts -- "there is in fact no evidence for me that anyone else but me has a mind" [p.45]. I disagree with his acceptance of it! It would be better to give up the neo-Cartesian "faith" [p.52] in private conscious experience underlying Harnad's allegiance to Searle's controversial Chinese Room "Experiment" than give up all claim to know others think. It would be better to allow that (passing) Turing's Test evidences -- even strongly evidences -- thought.
Keywords Animal intelligence  artificial intelligence  causation  consciousness  Chinese Room Experiment  Descartes  intentionality  other-minds problem  Searle  subjectivity  symbol grounding  Turing  Turing's Test
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