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Dumai wrote (edited )

the room can't know anything, unless you think this exercise has somehow given it ability to perceive and comprehend language which... is a claim that would require some extraordinary evidence, lol.

the only part of the room that can do that is the operator, but they don't understand chinese. they are, however, still capable of taking part in a process to translate input into chinese according to pre-set syntactic rules. you see the point?


yaaqov wrote

What evidence is there that we perceive and comprehend language?

Taking another tack, syntactic rules (not exactly "pre-set", but acquired) are precisely what make up any speaker's syntactic competence . Of course a room can know a language, even if its parts don't! No individual subpart of my brain knows English, but I do.


Dumai wrote

did you really just ask me to provide evidence that humans are capable of perceiving language?

i'm gonna be real here i'm not sure how to begin with that one

how would you even be able to read my evidence if you don't think humans can perceive/comprehend linguistic information????


yaaqov wrote (edited )

Well, wouldn't the type of evidence that leads us to believe that humans have linguistic capacity be of the same type that leads us to believe that a non-human has linguistic capacity? It seems that Searle holds his language room to a different standard than he would a human speaker.

In fact, doesn't his view require a type of mind/body dualism in of itself? Doesn't Searle believe that philosophical zombies (which I understand to be something that extensionally acts exactly like a human but does not have consciousness) could logically exist? Isn't that itself dualistic?

I don't intend these questions to be rhetorical. I'm a total beginner in this territory.