Searle's Chinese Box: Debunking the Chinese Room Argument

  title={Searle's Chinese Box: Debunking the Chinese Room Argument},
  author={Larry Hauser},
  journal={Minds and Machines},
  • L. Hauser
  • Published 1 May 1997
  • Philosophy
  • Minds and Machines
John Searle's Chinese room argument is perhaps the most influential andwidely cited argument against artificial intelligence (AI). Understood astargeting AI proper – claims that computers can think or do think– Searle's argument, despite its rhetorical flash, is logically andscientifically a dud. Advertised as effective against AI proper, theargument, in its main outlines, is an ignoratio elenchi. It musterspersuasive force fallaciously by indirection fostered by equivocaldeployment of the… 
The Chinese Room Argument Reconsidered: Essentialism, Indeterminacy, and Strong AI
It is concluded that the viability of computationalism and strong AI depends on their addressing the indeterminacy objection, but that it is currently unclear how this objection can be successfully addressed.
Empirically Understanding Understanding can Make Problems go Away: The Case of the Chinese Room
The many authors debating whether computers can understand often fail to clarify what understanding is, and no agreement exists on this important issue. In his Chinese room argument, Searle (1980)
The Interrogator as Critic: The Turing Test and the Evaluation of Generative Music Systems
  • C. Ariza
  • Computer Science
    Computer Music Journal
  • 2009
It is argued that Turing's well-known proposal cannot be applied to executing and evaluating listener surveys, as this model of the Turing Test has been submitted and employed as a framework for these comparisons.
The Turing Machine May Not Be the Universal Machine
  • M. Gams
  • Philosophy
    Minds and Machines
  • 2004
Can mind be modeled as a Turing machine? If you find such questions irrelevant, e.g. because the subject is already exhausted, then you need not read the book Mind versus Computer (Gams et al.,
In this paper, I introduce the concept of narrow content (Section 2.1) to discuss an account of narrow content by analyzing Fodor's methodological solipsism (2.2). I point out that Fodor's formalism,
Turing Test: 50 Years Later
It is concluded that the Turing Test has been, and will continue to be, an influential and controversial topic.
Turing Revisited: A Cognitively-Inspired Decomposition
A computational cognitive modeling-inspired decomposition of the Turing test as classical “strong AI benchmark” is proposed into at least four intermediary testing scenarios: a test for natural language understanding, an evaluation of the performance in emulating human-style rationality, an assessment of creativity-related capacities, and a measure of performance on natural language production of an AI system.
The Importance of Being Intelligent: Understanding Market Institutions
Those using artificial intelligence (AI) in finance and other fields seek to meet or beat human intelligence by a chosen index of performance appropriate to each context. Efforts are focused on
The performance of comedy by artificial intelligence agents
This is an interdisciplinary project that draws on the domains of humour theory, creativity theory, creative writing, and human-computer interaction theory to illuminate the practice of comedy scriptwriting process in a new-media environment.
Overcoming Computationalism in Cognitive Science
The main thesis is that, rather than eliminating computationalism from Cognitive Science, it would better reconsider the distinction between computable and uncomputable.


The Pseudorealization Fallacy and the Chinese Room Argument
John Searle with his now-famous Chinese room argument (1980, 1982, 1984) challenges the basis for a strong version of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Searle’s argument has generated diverse and often
The Wrong Stuff: Chinese Rooms and the Nature of Understanding
Searle's Chinese Room argument is a general argument that proves that machines do not have mental states in virtue of their programming. I claim that the argument expresses powerful but mistaken
Word and Object
This edition offers a new preface by Quine's student and colleague Dagfinn Follesdal that describes the never-realized plans for a second edition of Word and Object, in which Quine would offer a more unified treatment of the public nature of meaning, modalities, and propositional attitudes.
Reply to Jacquette
I believe he has missed the point of the Chinese Room argument. Though the point is really very simple, it does sometimes tend to get lost in all of the interpretations, criticisms, and "intuitions"
I. It ain't the meat, it's the motion
John R. Searle has recently observed that something might instantiate a Chinese‐‘understanding’ computer program without having any understanding of Chinese. He thinks that this implies that
A Theory of Content and Other Essays.
This collection of new and previously published essays reflects the major research and thought of one of today's preeminent philosophers of mind. The first seven essays are philosophical pieces that
Why isn't my pocket calculator a thinking thing?
Larry Hauser argues that his pocket calculator (Cal) has certain arithmetical abilities: it seems Cal calculates, and William J. Rapaport’s comments suggest that on a strong view of thinking, mere calculating is not thinking, but on a weak, but unexciting, sense of Thinking, pocket calculators do think.
Alan Turing, Enigma
Both a compelling narrative and a work of scholarship, Alan Turing: The Enigma is the definitive biography of one of the greatest minds of the modern world.
Is the brain's mind a computer program?
  • Searle
  • Computer Science
    Scientific American
  • 1990
The goal is to design programs that will simulate human cognition in such a way as to pass the Turing test, and to distinguish these two approaches, the authors call the first strong AI and the second weak AI.
Because mere calculating isn't thinking
Hauser's present claim about a very much simpler machine, a claim at which even many researchers in the so-called strong-AI tradition might balk, depends in part on what 'calculating' means.