Virtual symposium on virtual mind

Minds and Machines 2 (3):217-238 (1992)

Authors
Stevan Harnad
Université du Québec à Montréal
Abstract
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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF02454221
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,566
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Mind, Language, and Reality.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Cambridge University Press.
Minds, Brains and Programs.John R. Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
Mind, Language and Reality.H. Putnam - 1975 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 39 (2):361-362.
The Symbol Grounding Problem.Stevan Harnad - 1990 - Physica D 42:335-346.
Intrinsic Intentionality.John Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):450.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Informational Nature of Personal Identity.Luciano Floridi - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (4):549-566.
Why and How We Are Not Zombies.Stevan Harnad - 1994 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 1 (2):164-67.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
251 ( #21,896 of 2,325,859 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #94,198 of 2,325,859 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature