Past Meetup

[Philosophy 100] John Searle's Chinese Room Argument

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The Chinese Room Argument, John Searle

Wikipedia entry:

Discussion on Stanford's Plato site:

Wikipedia entry on Turing Test:

Various versions of the argument should be available online with a bit of searching. I highly recommend reading some of the responses to the argument as well (Dennett, Minsky, Churchland, Block and/or Boden, would be good ones to start with).


A note on text selection:
It was decided in our last meeting (Feb. 8 2013), that we'd break-up a more-or-less chronological/thematic series of readings with smaller contemporary or ancient readings. This would be our approach moving forward.

So, for example, we'll take a session to read a short paper by John Searle (a modern American philosopher) before returning to read John Locke (as the follow-on to Descartes). There's some interest in reading a Platonic dialogue as well, so we might tackle a short dialogue like The Symposium when we're through with Locke.

A note on our methodology.
READING: We don't tackle the full text in one sitting. We read smaller pieces of the text so we may have more detailed and (hopefully) rewarding discussion at the meetings. We will follow natural breaks in the texts and try to ensure no text takes longer than three months to read in full.

PRESENTATION: One member of the group will be responsible for presenting the reading at each meeting. The presenter should come prepared, preferably with notes to share with the other members of the group. Presentation is voluntary and really just ensures that at least ONE member of the group has actually read the assignment critically. Presenters are decided at the previous meeting and it is entirely voluntary (i.e. no one will force you to present).

SCHEDULE: We will try to schedule our meetings twice a month; on the first and third Thursday.

SECONDARY/SUPPLEMENT READING: We may - often - supplement the primary text with some secondary or supplemental reading to better understand/situate the text.

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