Searle, Syntax, and Observer Relativity

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):101-122 (1996)
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Abstract

I focus on and criticize John Searle's argument against a classical computational view of the mind according to which the attribution of syntax is observer relative (in Searle, Rediscovery of Mind, MIT Press, 1992). Searle's argument is interesting inasmuch as it differs from his previous and more well-known argument that syntax is not sufficient for semantics. This argument aims to undercut even the syntax as something that exists only in the eye of the beholder. I show that Searle's argument rests on premises that go unsupported.

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Citations of this work

When physical systems realize functions.Matthias Scheutz - 1999 - Minds and Machines 9 (2):161-196.

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References found in this work

Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Minds, brains, and programs.John Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
The Language of Thought.J. A. Fodor - 1978 - Critica 10 (28):140-143.

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