Single Idea 7390

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 7. Chinese Room]

Full Idea

The argument that begins "this little bit of brain activity doesn't understand Chinese, and neither does this bigger bit..." is headed for the unwanted conclusion that even the activity of the whole brain won't account for understanding Chinese.

Gist of Idea

If bigger and bigger brain parts can't understand, how can a whole brain?


comment on John Searle (Minds, Brains and Science [1984]) by Daniel C. Dennett - Consciousness Explained 14.1

Book Reference

Dennett,Daniel C.: 'Consciousness Explained' [Penguin 1993], p.439

A Reaction

In other words, Searle is guilty of a fallacy of composition (in negative form - parts don't have it, so whole can't have it). Dennett is right. The whole shebang of the full brain will obviously do wonderful (and commonplace) things brain bits can't.