Computers, Persons, and the Chinese Room. Part 1: The Human Computer

Journal of Mind and Behavior 33 (1):27-48 (2012)
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Detractors of Searleā€™s Chinese Room Argument have arrived at a virtual consensus that the mental properties of the Man performing the computations stipulated by the argument are irrelevant to whether computational cognitive science is true. This paper challenges this virtual consensus to argue for the first of the two main theses of the persons reply, namely, that the mental properties of the Man are what matter. It does this by challenging many of the arguments and conceptions put forth by the systems and logical replies to the Chinese Room, either reducing them to absurdity or showing how they lead, on the contrary, to conclusions the persons reply endorses. The paper bases its position on the Chinese Room Argument on additional philosophical considerations, the foundations of the theory of computation, and theoretical and experimental psychology. The paper purports to show how all these dimensions tend to support the proposed thesis of the persons reply.
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