Minds and Machines

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 229-235

First online:

A Logical Hole in the Chinese Room

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Searle’s Chinese Room Argument (CRA) has been the object of great interest in the philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence and cognitive science since its initial presentation in ‘Minds, Brains and Programs’ in 1980. It is by no means an overstatement to assert that it has been a main focus of attention for philosophers and computer scientists of many stripes. It is then especially interesting to note that relatively little has been said about the detailed logic of the argument, whatever significance Searle intended CRA to have. The problem with the CRA is that it involves a very strong modal claim, the truth of which is both unproved and highly questionable. So it will be argued here that the CRA does not prove what it was intended to prove.


Chinese room Computation Mind Artificial intelligence