[ExI] How not to make a thought experiment

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Fri Feb 5 17:04:27 UTC 2010

Since my last post Gordon Swobe has posted 13 times:

> I do not care how the computer behaves.

Yes Gordon I know, you don't care about behavior and that of course means you don't care about Evolution either, and I have a real problem with that because, even if your thought experiments were superb rather than absurd, real experiments outrank thought experiments.

> My point here is that intelligent behavior does not imply understanding.

That is 100% incompatible with Darwin's ideas.

> We can construct robots that behave intelligently like humans but which have no subjective understanding of anything whatsoever.

That is 100% incompatible with Darwin's ideas.

> Does your watch understand what time it is, Stathis? No, of course not. 

Yet another wonderful example of how not to make a thought experiment. You want to investigate a property so you set up a thought experiment. You have absolutely no way of measuring or even detecting this property, so you just arbitrarily state that this property does or does not exist in this thought experiment, and then claim to have proven something profound about the existence or nonexistence of that property. Don't you think that's just a bit ridiculous?  

John K Clark

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