Artificial intelligence and personal identity

Synthese 88 (September):399-417 (1991)
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Abstract

Considerations of personal identity bear on John Searle's Chinese Room argument, and on the opposed position that a computer itself could really understand a natural language. In this paper I develop the notion of a virtual person, modelled on the concept of virtual machines familiar in computer science. I show how Searle's argument, and J. Maloney's attempt to defend it, fail. I conclude that Searle is correct in holding that no digital machine could understand language, but wrong in holding that artificial minds are impossible: minds and persons are not the same as the machines, biological or electronic, that realize them.

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Citations of this work

The chinese room argument.David Cole - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Turing test: 50 years later.Ayse Pinar Saygin, Ilyas Cicekli & Varol Akman - 2000 - Minds and Machines 10 (4):463-518.
Identity over time.Andre Gallois - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Minds, brains, and programs.John Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
On the proper treatment of connectionism.Paul Smolensky - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):1-23.
Survival and identity.David Lewis - 1976 - In Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (ed.), The Identities of Persons. University of California Press. pp. 17-40.
Minds, Brains, and Programs.John Searle - 1980 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Personal Identity.John Perry (ed.) - 1975 - Berkeley: University of California Press.

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