The computer that simulated John Searle in the Chinese room

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The thought experiment of the Chinese Room, whereby Searle takes on the function of a computer program for processing the Chinese language, aroused opposition and many disputes. The purposes of the present article are to reinforce the conclusion reached by this experiment (that the computer does not think) and to reply to two important counter arguments: the "System" argument (according to which Searle is a part of the system) and the "Connectionist" argument (according to which a parallel and not a serial program will think). These goals are attained by shifting the focus of the discussion from Searle in the Chinese Room to the computer that simulates Searle in the Chinese Room. This new thought experiment creates a set of situations that are all impossible except for one, in which the computer is no more than a machine devoid of understanding and consciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-66
Number of pages12
JournalNew Ideas in Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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