more from Georges Rey

Single Idea 3220

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

Full Idea

You should no more attribute understanding of Chinese to this one part of the system than you should ascribe the properties of the entire British Empire to Queen Victoria. This is the fallacy of division.

Gist of Idea

Searle is guilty of the fallacy of division - attributing a property of the whole to a part


Georges Rey (Contemporary Philosophy of Mind [1997], 10.2.3)

Book Reference

Rey,Georges: 'Contemporary Philosophy of Mind' [Blackwell 1997], p.274

A Reaction

This very nicely pinpoints what is wrong with the Chinese Room argument (nice analogy, too). If you carefully introspect what is involved when you 'understand' something, it is immensely complex, though it feels instant and simple.