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Stuart W. Mirsky
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Can Machines Get It?

Considers the nature of understanding and meaning in light of John Searle's argument (in the CRA) against the possibility of computational cognition.

It's long seemed to me that one of the serious flaws in [John Searle's Chinese Room Argument] . . . is its failure to elucidate [the] mysterious feature he calls semantics (i.e., the meaning of a symbol, word or statement, etc.). After all, if machines like computers can't have semantics, we ought to at least know what it is we think they are unable to possess. It can hardly be enough to suppose that what we find in ourselves, at moments of introspection, when we are aware of understanding a symbol, word or statement, isn't available to computers merely because we can't imagine it . . .

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