Jenefer Robinson On Listening With Emotion

Jenefer Robinson holds that feeling an emotion is a process which begins with “an affective, non-cognitive evaluation that causes autonomic and motor changes and is succeeded by cognitive monitoring” (Deeper than Reason, 58-59). Moreover, in chapter 12 of Deeper Than Reason, Robinson discusses this position in light of the results of Krumhansl's experiment. In doing so,…

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Syntax And Semantics In Searle’s Chinese Room Argument

'The Chinese room argument', as put forth by John Searle, is an argument against Weak AI. I have explained John Searle's Chinese room argument here so I will not take the time to do so again. Rather, I will take the time to explain the difference between Weak AI and Strong AI. Weak AI is the notion that…

Virtue in Plato’s ‘Protagoras’

In Plato’s Protagoras, Socrates and Protagoras discuss whether or not virtue, or "the ability to live the best possible life" (Taylor, Introduction), can be taught.  Protagoras begins the dialogue by asserting that virtue is something that can be taught and that he is capable of teaching it.  Socrates takes the position that virtue is something…

A Review of John Searle’s ‘Minds, Brains, and Programs’

In Minds, Brains, and Programs, John Searle puts forth an argument against the view that understanding is a computational process. Searle uses an example involving a monolingual man locked in a room manipulating Chinese symbols to demonstrate his argument. In this example, Searle is in a room receiving certain Chinese symbols; he matches them with…

A Review of John Searle’s ‘The Logical Status of Fictional Discourse’

In The Logical Status of Fictional Discourse, John Searle claims an assertion is “a type of illocutionary act that conforms to certain quite specific semantic and pragmatic rules” (Searle, 322). This means there are strict rules that must be abided by when the act of communication itself is the intended action – not just a means to an end. Furthermore, Searle states that…

A Review of Colin McGinn’s “Can We Solve the Mind/Body Problem?”

In “Can We Solve the Mind-Body Problem?”, Colin McGinn introduces the idea of a property or theory being “cognitively closed” (350) to an individual. This means there are phenomena and knowledge of phenomena that minds do not have the cognitive ability to comprehend. According to McGinn, “A type of mind M is cognitively closed with…

A Review of Jerry Fodor’s “Special Sciences” (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)

In Special Sciences, Jerry Fodor talks about the unity of science via reductionism. Reductionism is the idea that mental phenomena can be reduced to/explained by physical phenomena. For example, being scared can be explained as the physical process of one's heart rate increasing, or as a heightening of one's awareness to his or her surroundings,…