Can computers carry content "inexplicitly"?

Minds and Machines 4 (3):333-44 (1994)
I examine whether it is possible for content relevant to a computer''s behavior to be carried without an explicit internal representation. I consider three approaches. First, an example of a chess playing computer carrying emergent content is offered from Dennett. Next I examine Cummins response to this example. Cummins says Dennett''s computer executes a rule which is inexplicitly represented. Cummins describes a process wherein a computer interprets explicit rules in its program, implements them to form a chess-playing device, then this device executes the rules in a way that exhibits them inexplicitly. Though this approach is intriguing, I argue that the chess-playing device cannot exist as imagined. The processes of interpretation and implementation produce explicit representations of the content claimed to be inexplicit. Finally, the Chinese Room argument is examined and shown not to save the notion of inexplicit information. This means the strategy of attributing inexplicit content to a computer which is executing a rule, fails.
Keywords Computer  Content  Epistemology  Information  Mind  Dennett, D
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DOI 10.1007/BF00974198
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References found in this work BETA
John R. Searle (1980). Minds, Brains and Programs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
R. Cummins (1986). Inexplicit Representation. In Myles Brand (ed.), The Representation of Knowledge and Belief. Tucson: University of Arizona Press

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