[ExI] digital simulations, descriptions and copies.

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Fri Jan 22 17:19:48 UTC 2010

Since my last post Gordon Swobe wrote 4, in none of those posts did he address any of the objections I raised. No doubt he will be unable to answer these newer objections either.

> To say "there is no logical pathway from a lump of matter to meaning" is equivalent to saying that mind and matter exist in separate realms.

Well they do exist in separate realms, nouns adjectives and verbs do too. So what?
> it remains nevertheless true that the man in the chinese room cannot understand the meanings of the symbols

And it remains nevertheless true that the understanding or lack thereof of that silly little man in the chinese room is irrelevant in determining if understanding is involved in the situation.

> they need to explain how a program and its hardware can get semantics from the syntactic rules programmed into the machine by the programmer.

Why do they "need" to explain it? At it's deepest level nobody can explain how gravity works but that doesn't stop logical and intelligent people from believing that gravity exists because the evidence is overwhelming, and in a similar way the evidence is overwhelming that syntax can produce semantics and if a hairless ape on the third rock from the sun can't figure out how that works it doesn't make it any less true.

And I would humbly suggest that you take a temporary hiatus in the use of the words "semantics" and "syntax" until you have some idea what the words mean so as to avoid embarrassment such as your recent blunder when you said that even humans cant get semantics from syntax.

> If we want to know the meaning of a word we can look it up in the dictionary and see "one symbol associated with other symbols

And somebody can point to one of those symbols in the dictionary and then point to something in the real world and then we get the semantics that the symbol represents a real object.

> My assertion leads simply to a philosophy of mind in which the brain attaches meanings to symbols in some way that we do not yet fully understand.

A 1950's punch card machine attaches a meaning to a hole in a card, a meaning that says put this card in that column. What don't you understand about that?

> Looks to me like the world is comprised of just one kind of stuff.

It sure as hell doesn't look that way to me!


Thanks but I already know how to get to Wikipedia.

  John K Clark

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