[ExI] Why the CRA is false, methodically

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 10:08:13 UTC 2010

2010/2/22 Will Steinberg <steinberg.will at gmail.com>:

> Searle's Chinese Room has become the heart of darkness of the recent
> conversations.  The thing seems logically valid.  But the error is hidden
> beneath layers of metaphor and an oversimplification of human thought.
> The man in the room, given access to his books of responses, can only
> utilize a limited set of data.  A totally plain "a for b" system would limit
> the room to inputs whose answers never changes--base facts.  Any i/o on a
> changing system--the people, environment, events in general--cannot function
> with this limited set.

Since the CRA is an argument against computationalism, I have assumed
that the man implements a digital computer programmed to speak
Chinese. This is beyond the capabilities of modern computers and their
programmers, but it should be possible unless the brain does something
fundamentally non-computable when it processes language. I expect that
if we did have computers that could eloquently argue their case it
would cause a thinning in the ranks of the only-brains-can-think

Stathis Papaioannou

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list