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Minds, Brains, and Computer

In “Minds, Brains, and Computer,” John Searle argues that human consciousness is not a result of the computation process in which a computer would go through. John Searle uses the example of the Chinese Room to support his argument. There are many distinctions that need to be understood to order to understand/agree with John Searle’s argument. The understanding of the difference of a syntax and semantic, the manipulating of symbols, and the intentions are key to understanding that the mind is in no relation to a computer. Not being able to understand these key terms ay lead to an objection to Searle’s argument.

The Chinese Room is a hypothetical experiment that Searle would like his reader to imagine. It begins by locking oneself in a room with only a batch of papers that are written in Chinese, assuming that one does not understand Chinese writing. From there they are expected to answer the questions given. A second batch of papers, again in Chinese, is introduced to be used to answer theses questions. The third batch of papers, written in both English and Chinese characters, is instructions in how to answer he question by learning to manipulate the symbols to answer the questions.

As this process takes place, one begins to learn very well how to manipulate the symbols to generate a predetermined answer. This may sound simple, but the catch is that one will still be unable to understand what the symbols mean, and they are only able to manipulate them. This example was given in objection to Shank’s program which states that a computer can “understand” a story. Shank’s program states that a story which is given to a computer and a human will result in similar answers. This is where one distinction must e made clear.

Syntax is what the symbols look like and a semantic is what the symbols put together mean. Computers work with syntax processes while the human mind is able to understand the semantic of the syntax. The lack of understanding like in the Chinese Room leads to the idea of computer processing. Computers are able to only manipulate the symbols without having the understanding of what they are saying. On the other hand, the human mind can view the syntax and understand the semantics of the symbols. The human mind can therefore generate an answer which is well thought and elates to our senses.

The human mind shows an intention through thinking. A computer does not show an intention. When one thinks of a car it shows an intention of a possible purchase or admiration of the vehicle. When a computer is given the syntax “C-A-R” it does not make any connections with intent on acting on the symbols. The human mind makes a connection with the brain to create intent of thought. The mind and brain interact in tandem with each other, without mind there is no brain and vise versa. This interaction between the brain and mind involves our senses to produce an answer or thought.

In order to feel being wet during a run through a run storm we must be able to feel the water hitting our clothing, and our mind begins to make the recognition along with the use of the brain of what is happening. The brain and the mind indirectly affect each other in decision making. When our limbs move it is cause by our mind/thought telling our brain to move them. Our mind and our brain can be in sense a boss and an employee. The mind is the boss and the brain is the employee. The mind and our thoughts dictate what we do and our actions are intended to create a reaction.

These reactions are hat allow us to continuing learning through experience expanding our horizons. Our brains to keep these experiences (inputs) for intended use in the future. We are able to manipulate these experiences to make choices and answer questions that we are asked. There are many objections to this argument. Two possible objections are solipsism and a super human robot all of which a possible. The objection of solipsism is that there is only one great mind that controls all other minds. This great mind can be thought of a master computer even a superior artificial intelligence or even God.

This objection is quite ossible being that with some situations we are unable to reason with why we act in ways that we do. Theses actions could be controlled by an other power which may use a remote control to have humans do certain actions and think certain thought. We may be part of a network that is our master mind. Another objection could be that someday a robot can be built to be the same as a human in such a way that they are about to have thoughts and senses like a human. With a robot built in this way it would be impossible for a normal person to be able to see the difference between a robot-human nd a real-human.

The advancements in the world today it is very possible that someday a engineer will be able to create such a robot. This robot would be able answer story questions exactly the way that thinking conscious humans would be because they would have enough experiences programmed into their hard drive that would allow them without a doubt cry, yell, and rejoice with joy. Searle’s argument does prove objections wrong with one word, understanding. It is necessary to have understanding of our surrounding our symbols to show that we are not computers. We are people that are onscious and are full of thought.

Our minds and brains work together to produce our conscious and produces self. Self is the understanding of the syntax we see in our daily lives. The semantic is how we are able to have understanding, manipulation, and intention which is lacking in the idea of a computer mind. The mind and brain do have processes such as a computer but our minds are more complex. We use are senses with our minds to formulate/manipulate our actions to which our brain responds to with this understanding it is understood that we are not only computers but conscious thinking beings.

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