David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Minds and Machines 2 (3):217-238 (1992)
When certain formal symbol systems (e.g., computer programs) are implemented as dynamic physical symbol systems (e.g., when they are run on a computer) their activity can be interpreted at higher levels (e.g., binary code can be interpreted as LISP, LISP code can be interpreted as English, and English can be interpreted as a meaningful conversation). These higher levels of interpretability are called "virtual" systems. If such a virtual system is interpretable as if it had a mind, is such a "virtual mind" real? This is the question addressed in this "virtual" symposium, originally conducted electronically among four cognitive scientists: Donald Perlis, a computer scientist, argues that according to the computationalist thesis, virtual minds are real and hence Searle's Chinese Room Argument fails, because if Searle memorized and executed a program that could pass the Turing Test in Chinese he would have a second, virtual, Chinese-understanding mind of which he was unaware (as in multiple personality). Stevan Harnad, a psychologist, argues that Searle's Argument is valid, virtual minds are just hermeneutic overinterpretations, and symbols must be grounded in the real world of objects, not just the virtual world of interpretations. Computer scientist Patrick Hayes argues that Searle's Argument fails, but because Searle does not really implement the program: A real implementation must not be homuncular but mindless and mechanical, like a computer. Only then can it give rise to a mind at the virtual level. Philosopher Ned Block suggests that there is no reason a mindful implementation would not be a real one.
|Keywords||Epistemology Foundationalism Hermeneutics Mind Robotics Science Semantics|
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References found in this work BETA
Hilary Putnam (1975). Mind, Language, and Reality. Cambridge University Press.
John R. Searle (1980). Minds, Brains and Programs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
Stevan Harnad (1990). The Symbol Grounding Problem. Philosophical Explorations 42:335-346.
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Stevan Harnad (1991). Other Bodies, Other Minds: A Machine Incarnation of an Old Philosophical Problem. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 1 (1):43-54.
Citations of this work BETA
Luciano Floridi (2011). The Informational Nature of Personal Identity. Minds and Machines 21 (4):549-566.
Claus Emmeche (2001). Does a Robot Have an Umwelt? Reflections on the Qualitative Biosemiotics of Jakob von Uexküll. Semiotica 2001 (134):653-693.
Itay Shani (2005). Computation and Intentionality: A Recipe for Epistemic Impasse. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 15 (2):207-228.
Stevan Harnad (1994). Computation is Just Interpretable Symbol Manipulation; Cognition Isn't. Minds and Machines 4 (4):379-90.
Bruce J. MacLennan (1994). Words Lie in Our Way. Minds and Machines 4 (4):421-37.
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John G. Taylor (2003). Do Virtual Actions Avoid the Chinese Room? In John M. Preston & Michael A. Bishop (eds.), Views Into the Chinese Room: New Essays on Searle and Artificial Intelligence. Oxford University Press
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John L. Pollock (2008). What Am I? Virtual Machines and the Mind/Body Problem. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (2):237–309.
David J. Cole (1991). Artificial Intelligence and Personal Identity. Synthese 88 (September):399-417.
C. Kaernbach (2005). No Virtual Mind in the Chinese Room. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (11):31-42.
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