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Reading: Searle’s Chinese Room Reconsidered


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Searle’s Chinese Room Reconsidered


Niccolò Aimone Pisano

London School of Economics and Political Science, GB
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In this essay, I will argue that Searle's (1980) argument in its original version does not debunk the computational theory of mind, but it does if adequately modified in the light of Dreyfus's (1992) argument. I will first outline the core ideas behind the view that is meant to be challenged by Searle's mental experiment; then I will describe the thought experiment itself, also exposing, and objecting to, Boden's (1987) reply which highlights two difficulties of the argument, namely SIR's (Searle-In-the-Room) understanding of English and Searle's biological chauvinism. Finally, I will show how taking into consideration Dreyfus's (1992) claim that the computational theory of mind entails some unavoidable regress about the rules to be applied allows Searle's argument to be a more effective attack to the computational theory of mind.

How to Cite: Pisano, N.A., 2019. Searle’s Chinese Room Reconsidered. Rerum Causae, 10(1), pp.50–59.
Published on 11 Sep 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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