posted on Aug, 12 2012 @ 12:59 PM
"However, I now have to say that I was conceding too much in my earlier statements of this argument. I was conceding that the computational theory of
the mind was at least false. But it now seems to me that it does not reach the level of falsity because it does not have a clear sense. Here is
The natural sciences describe features of reality that are intrinsic to the world as it exists independently of any observers. Thus, gravitational
attraction, photosynthesis, and electromagnetism are all subjects of the natural sciences because they describe intrinsic features of reality. But
such features such as being a bathtub, being a nice day for a picnic, being a five dollar bill or being a chair, are not subjects of the natural
sciences because they are not intrinsic features of reality. All the phenomena I named -- bathtubs, etc. -- are physical objects and as physical
objects have features that are intrinsic to reality. But the feature of being a bathtub or a five dollar bill exists only relative to observers and
The point of the parable is clear but it is usually neglected. Syntax by itself is not sufficient for semantic content. In all of the attacks on the
Chinese room argument [plato.stanford.edu...
], I have never seen anyone come out baldly and say they think that syntax is
sufficient for semantic content…
The computational model of consciousness stands to consciousness in the same way the computational model of anything stands to the domain being
modelled. Nobody supposes that the computational model of rainstorms in London will leave us all wet. But they make the mistake of supposing that the
computational model of consciousness is somehow conscious. It is the same mistake in both cases."