[ExI] digital simulations, descriptions and copies

Gordon Swobe gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 22 13:23:26 UTC 2010

--- On Fri, 1/22/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:

> At some point, there must be an association between a
> symbol and one of the special symbols which are generated by sensory 
> data. Then the symbol is "grounded".

You misunderstand symbol grounding. It's not about association of symbols with other symbols, per se. It's about comprehension of those symbols.

The good people at Merriam Webster associate words with other words on paper and then publish those printed associations. Those words and their associated words are grounded only to the extent that some agent(s) comprehends the meanings of them.

If every agent capable of comprehending word meanings died suddenly, they would leave behind dictionaries filled with ungrounded symbols. The words defined in those dictionaries would remain physically associated the words in their definitions, but nobody would be around to know what any of the symbols meant. The words would remain associated but they would become ungrounded.




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