Reaping the whirlwind: Reply to Harnad's Other Bodies, Other Minds [Book Review]

Minds and Machines 3 (2):219-37 (1993)
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Harnad''s proposed robotic upgrade of Turing''s Test (TT), from a test of linguistic capacity alone to a Total Turing Test (TTT) of linguisticand sensorimotor capacity, conflicts with his claim that no behavioral test provides even probable warrant for attributions of thought because there is no evidence of consciousness besides private experience. 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 factno evidence for me that anyone else but me has a mind. I disagree with hisacceptance of it! It would be better to give up the neo-Cartesian faith 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 — evenstrongly evidences — thought.



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