Minds, Brains, and Science by John R. Searle

1815 Words Feb 17th, 2018 7 Pages
While many facets of functionalism has been tested throughout the century, one of the more interesting questions came in the form of computers. Similarly to a human brain, could computers also think? This idea was explored by John R. Searle, in his book titled, Minds, Brains, and Science. The author is a renowned American philosopher, particularly in the philosophy of language and mind, and is currently teaching at the University of California, in Berkeley (“John R. Searle,” 2014). Searle earned his Ph.D. in philosophy at Oxford, and has made several contributions to his field on topics, such as consciousness, artificial intelligence, and the problem of free will (“John R. Searle,” 2014). His “Chinese Room” experiment is known as one of the main critiques to the concept of artificial intelligence. In Searle’s book, Searle describes his thought process into this experiment during the second chapter, titled “Can Computers Think?” Searle’s purpose of this chapter in the book is to explain his perspective on the idea that digital computers will never develop the capability to form thought processes, and that a concept such as artificial intelligence could never exist, because our mental states exist in a biological manner. He utilizes his “Chinese Room” argument to aid in the development of his objectives.
Before Searle goes into any detail about the purpose of this passage, he introduces the…

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