Bermudez Language Of Thought Analysis

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the previous chapters we concluded that, what mind does, is essentially information processing. In this chapter Bermudez presents the physical symbol system hypothesis and the language of thought hypothesis. He also discusses the Chinese Room argument as a contrary view to the physical symbol system hypothesis. In 1975 Herbert Simon and Allen Newell won Turing Award with their manifesto for a general approach to thinking about intelligent information processing. Although Simon and Newell are computer scientists, this approach was not only about artificial intelligence but about all sorts of intelligence. Simon and Newell claimed that intelligent action cannot be performed unless the performer is a physical symbol system. Based on this argument…show more content…
Language of thought hypothesis states that mind carry information as sentences in an internal language and manipulation of these sentences are information processing. This information processing involves representations. Transformation of representations to a more complex representation. These complex representation can be called belief and desire. Beliefs and desires interacts with each other and give rise to an intention to act in a certain way. These intentions can further transform into motor instructions. Actually this process is somewhat similar to physical symbol system hypothesis. Because in Newell and Simon’s second idea states exactly the same although they differ in fundamental unit of representation. Fodor’s main improvement on the physical symbol system hypothesis is the claim of the physical states are the sentences in the language of thought and the transitions between these sentences respect the rational relations between contents of those sentences. Based on these arguments Fodor claims that beliefs and desires are realized by language like structure, and thinking and reasoning ultimately to be understood in terms of transitions between those…show more content…
This argument was proposed by John Searle as a thought experiment. Searle proposes an imaginary room with an operative inside. This operative receives inputs from one window and passes outputs from another window. Task of the operative is to translate given input to Chinese by using a dictionary and an instruction manual. However operative has no knowledge about Chinese. All the operative can do is identify symbols, and use dictionary and manual. Based on this construct Searle asks whether the Chinese room understand Chinese. In this situation answer seems to be no because the operative does not understand Chinese. Searle states that if there is no understanding, the must not be intelligent behavior. Therefore mind cannot be just a physical symbol system, which compute symbols according to instruction without having a knowledge about them. In the book Bermudez states that the process of identifying symbols and following instruction manual requires intelligence and skill. Therefore Chinese room is essentially an intelligent agent. Another argument against physical symbol system is symbol-grounding problem. Symbol-grounding problem is how words and thought become meaningful to speakers and thinkers. It is unconventional to think about how we attach meaning to thoughts. Thinking a thought without a meaning seems impossible as if thought have always have their meanings attached to them. If information

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