Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Author Item Excerpt Meta data

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David Chalmers
I 326
Syntax/Semantics/Chinese Room/Searle/Chalmers: (Searle 1984): extended argument by Searle:
1. A computer program is syntactic
2. Syntax is not sufficient for semantics
3. Consciousnesses (mind) have semantics
4. Therefore, it is not sufficient to implement a program to maintain a consciousness (mind).
I 327
Chalmers: here it is again about intentionality (understanding), but the argument can be extended to consciousness, since Searle anyway is concerned with phenomenal intentionality.
Solution/Chalmers: it is not a question of isolated programs, but about their implementation, that is, about the program together with an environment, i.e. concrete systems with causal dynamics.
SearleVsVs: could argue that the implementations are again syntactic.
ChalmersVs: but in this sense "syntax" loses the meaning in which it is not sufficient for semantics. Then one could argue:
1. Recipes are syntactic
2. Syntax is not sufficient for crumbling
3. Cakes are crumbly
4. Therefore, following the steps in a recipe is not sufficient to bake a cake.
Solution: we need to distinguish between the recipe and its application as we differentiate between the program and its implementation.
Program/Chalmers: a program implicitly specifies a class of physical systems that can be used as implementations, and these systems are the systems that create such phenomena as consciousness.

Cha I
The Conscious Mind Oxford New York 1996

Cha II
D. Chalmers
Constructing the World Oxford 2014

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-05-27