I’ve been branching out my reading lately. I figure I need to re-establish my base of knowledge on identity and kinds of minds, so I figured I would start with John Searle, particularly his book Minds, Brains and Science. Within this book, he supposedly solves the mind/body problem, then goes on to talk about why computers can’t be intelligent. He does this with his famous Chinese Room thought experiment.
The idea of the experiment is that if someone who did not understand were in a room, and people put messages in Chinese through a slot on one side of the room, the guy inside could use a sort of ‘code book’ telling him what the proper response was (also in Chinese) and he could then send those messages out of the room, and people outside might be convinced that he understands Chinese.
I’ve got a couple problems with this. I’ll start from the beginning.