Philosophy and Technology 28 (2):209-223 (2015)

John Mark Bishop
Goldsmiths College, University of London
Etienne Roesch
University of Reading
John Searle’s Chinese Room Argument purports to demonstrate that syntax is not sufficient for semantics, and, hence, because computation cannot yield understanding, the computational theory of mind, which equates the mind to an information processing system based on formal computations, fails. In this paper, we use the CRA, and the debate that emerged from it, to develop a philosophical critique of recent advances in robotics and neuroscience. We describe results from a body of work that contributes to blurring the divide between biological and artificial systems; so-called animats, autonomous robots that are controlled by biological neural tissue and what may be described as remote-controlled rodents, living animals endowed with augmented abilities provided by external controllers. We argue that, even though at first sight, these chimeric systems may seem to escape the CRA, on closer analysis, they do not. We conclude by discussing the role of the body–brain dynamics in the processes that give rise to genuine understanding of the world, in line with recent proposals from enactive cognitive science
Keywords Animats  Chinese room argument  Bio-machine hybrids  Strong AI  Robotics
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DOI 10.1007/s13347-014-0150-2
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References found in this work BETA

The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.
Minds, Brains, and Programs.John Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.

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