Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Chinese Room

Josh wrote:
Dr. Reppert,

I was wondering if in the course of debating the AFR, you use Searles disproof of strong AI as a defeater to the mind/computer objection. I see that Carrier brought up this objection on the Secular Web, but I don't remember seeing it. Do you think that it is not an applicable undercutting defeater?



Of course Searle himself would not endorse the conclusion of the Argument from Reason. But it is true that if Searle's argument works, it makes life easier for the defender of the AFR. And I do think Searle has it right. But it is a demanding chore to convince a naturalist like, say, Blue Devil Knight that Searle isn't nuts. On the other hand, Searle says "If you are tempted to functionalism, I believe you do not need refutation, you need help." One can only imagine what he thinks of eliminativists!

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