[Haskell-cafe] Re: Re: Re: Re[2]: Wikipedia on first-class object

Donn Cave donn at drizzle.com
Mon Dec 31 01:10:55 EST 2007

On Dec 30, 2007, at 7:18 PM, Ben Franksen wrote:

> You seem to be content to be cheated. You even seem to believe that
> there /is no/ cheating involved, even if I program the computer so  
> that you
> just /think/ it has emotions.
> Remember the chinese room!

Urgh, I was going to stay out of this, but you made me remember the
stupid Chinese Room!  I know it from Penrose's account of it in `The
Emperor's New Mind', and while he at least goes on to admit it's a
weak case, the fact that he even wasted a couple pages on it rather
put me off the rest of the book.

If you make a box that can parse Chinese with some functional
understanding, and it doesn't matter that there's a person inside
because he's strictly following a procedure and thus essentially
mechanical -- then of course it makes no difference at all whether
this person knows Chinese.  You may decide for yourself whether
the functional understanding of Chinese is intelligence or not, but
the man inside is huge, stinking red herring.

	Donn Cave, donn at drizzle.com

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