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…

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A Review of Lawrence Shapiro’s Multiple Realizability Thesis

The multiple realizability thesis (MRT) is the idea that the function of certain kinds of objects can manifest itself in a number of different ways. In Multiple Realizations, Shapiro points out that in order to properly understand the MRT, one must first distinguish between the two different kinds of objects: natural kinds and non-natural kinds.…

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 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,…