The paper begins by examining the original Turing Test (2T) and Searle’s antithetical Chinese Room Argument, which is intended to refute the 2T in particular, as well as any formal or abstract procedural theory of the mind in general. In the ensuing dispute between Searle and his own critics, I argue that Searle’s ‘internalist’ strategy is unable to deflect Dennett’s combined robotic-systems reply and the allied Total Turing Test (3T). Many would hold that the 3T marks the culmination of the (...) dialectic and, in principle, constitutes a fully adequate empirical standard for judging that an artifact is intelligent on a par with human beings. However, the paper carries the debate forward by arguing that the sociolinguistic factors highlighted in externalist views in the philosophy of language indicate the need for a fundamental shift in perspective in a Truly Total Turing Test (4T). It’s not enough to focus on Dennett’s individual robot viewed as a system; instead, we need to focus on an ongoing system of such artifacts. Hence a 4T should evaluate the general category of cognitive organization under investigation, rather than the performance of single specimens. From this comprehensive standpoint, the question is not whether an individual instance could simulate intelligent behavior within the context of a pre-existing sociolinguistic culture developed by the human cognitive type. Instead the key issue is whether the artificial cognitive type itself is capable of producing a comparable sociolinguistic medium. (shrink)
It is often thought that the computational paradigm provides a supporting case for the theoretical autonomy of the science of mind. However, I argue that computation is in fact incompatible with this alleged aspect of intentional explanation, and hence the foundational assumptions of orthodox cognitive science are mutually unstable. The most plausible way to relieve these foundational tensions is to relinquish the idea that the psychological level enjoys some special form of theoretical sovereignty. So, in contrast to well known antireductionist (...) views based on multiple realizability, I argue that the primary goal of a computational approach to the mind should be to facilitate a translation of the psychological to the neurophysiological. (shrink)
The paper examines the nature of the behavioral evidence underlying attributions of intelligence in the case of human beings, and how this might be extended to other kinds of cognitive system, in the spirit of the original Turing Test (TT). I consider Harnad's Total Turing Test (TTT), which involves successful performance of both linguistic and robotic behavior, and which is often thought to incorporate the very same range of empirical data that is available in the human case. However, (...) I argue that the TTT is still too weak, because it only tests the capabilities of particular tokens within a preexisting context of intelligent behavior. What is needed is a test of the cognitive type, as manifested through a number of exemplary tokens, in order to confirm that the cognitive type is able to produce the context of intelligent behavior presupposed by tests such as the TT and TTT. (shrink)
In this paper, I provide further elaboration of my theory of conscious experience, in response to the criticisms made by David Cole, and I directly address a number of the issues he raises. In particular, I examine Cole's claim that functionalism rather than neurophysiology is the theoretical key to consciousness. I argue that weak type-physicalism provides an analysis which is more fine grained, makes weaker assumptions, and allows more scope for empirical methods.
The paper addresses the widely held position that the Third Man regress in theParmenides is caused at least in part by the self-predicational aspect of Plato's Ideas. I offer a critique of the logic behind this type of interpretation, and argue that if the Ideas are construed as genuinely applying to themselves, then the regress is dissolved. Furthermore, such an interpretation can be made technically precise by modeling Platonic Universals as non-wellfounded sets. This provides a solution to the Third Man (...) regress, and allows a consistent reading of both self-predication and the singularity of the respective Forms. (shrink)
The paper examines the status of conscious presentation with regard to mental content and intentional states. I argue that conscious presentation of mental content should be viewed on the model of a secondary quality, as a subjectiveeffect of the microstructure of an underlying brain state. The brain state is in turn viewed as the instantiation of an abstract computational state, with the result that introspectively accessible content is interpreted as a presentation of the associated computational state realized by the brain. (...) However, if the relation between consciousness and representational content is construed in this manner, then conscious presentation does not provide an adequate foundation for the claim that human mental states areintrinsically intentional. On this model, I argue that functionalism is able to account for (non-intrinsic) intentionality, but not for consciousness, which has implications for the computational paradigm, as well as for Searle's Chinese room thought experiment. (shrink)
The systems T N and T M show that necessity can be consistently construed as a predicate of syntactical objects, if the expressive/deductive power of the system is deliberately engineered to reflect the power of the original object language operator. The system T N relies on salient limitations on the expressive power of the language L N through the construction of a quotational hierarchy, while the system T Mrelies on limiting the scope of the modal axioms schemas to the sublanguage (...) L infM +, which corresponds exactly with the restrictive hierarchy of L N. The fact that L infM + is identical to the image of the metalinguistic mapping C + from the normal operator system into L M reveals that iterated operator modality is implicitly hierarchical, and that inconsistency is produced by applying the principles of the modal logic to formulas which have no natural analogues in the operator development. Thus the contradiction discovered by Montague can be diagnosed as the result of instantiating the axiom schemas with modally ungrounded formulas, and thereby adding radically new modal axioms to the predicate system.The predicate treatment of necessity differs significantly from that of the operator in that the cumulative models for the predicate system are strictly first-order. Possible worlds are not used as model-theoretic primitives, but rather alternate models are appealed to in order to specify the extension of N, which is semantically construed as a first-order predicate. In this manner, the intensional aspects of modality are built into the mode of specifying the particular set of objects which the denotation function assigns to N, rather than in the specification of the basic truth conditions for modal formulas. Intensional phenomena are thereby localised to the special requirements for determining the extension of a particular predicate, and this does not constitute a structural modification of the first-order models, but rather limits the relevant class of models to those which possess an appropriate denotation function. (shrink)