[ExI] Semiotics and Computability

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri Feb 19 00:35:14 UTC 2010

On 19 February 2010 01:33, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- On Thu, 2/18/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> The man cannot understand the symbols - no way, no
>>> how, not in a million years - and when you realize this
>>> you'll learn something important about yourself.
>> Amazingly the brain does understand symbols, even though it
>> is in the same position as the CR, except worse since the neurons are
>> far dumber than even the dumbest man. When you understand this you
>> will understand something important about yourself.
> That's also true.
> The man cannot understand the symbols and he does no more than implement a program. But the human brain understands symbols.
> So, either
> 1) the brain does not implement programs, or
> 2) the brain implements programs and does something else also.

Or 3) implementing programs leads to understanding.

It seems that you just can't get past the very obvious point that
although the man has no understanding of language, he is just a
trivial part of the system, even if he internalises all the components
of the system. His intelligence is in fact mostly superfluous. What he
does is something a punchcard machine could do. In fact, the same
could be said of the intelligence of the man with respect to knowledge
of Chinese: it isn't a part of his cognitive competence, not even as
zombie intelligence. It's as if you had a being of godlike
intelligence (and consciousness) in your head whose only job was to
make the neurons fire in the correct sequence. Do you see that such a
being would not necessarily know anything about what you were thinking
about, and you would not necessarily know anything about what it was
thinking about?

Stathis Papaioannou

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