The Luminous Room argument
Searle's Chinese Room attempts to answer a scientific question by appealing to our naive intuitions about the mind. Paul and Patricia Churchland challenge its validity by imagining a similar thought experiment directed against James Maxwell's elect
Imagine a similar thought experiment—supporting a similar set of axioms and conclusions—directed against James Maxwell's 1864 hypothesis that light and election magnetism are identical.

In this luminous room argument, we are asked to imagine a man waving a magnet in a darkroom. Could waving the magnet around produce light? Our naive intuitions seem to say that it wouldn't, but scientific research has confirmed Maxwell's hypothesis.

Both the Luminous Room and the Chinese Room attempt to settle empirical questions by appealing to naive intuitions (which can be misleading). Thus:

Axiom 1: electricity and magnetism are forces.

Axiom 2: the essential property of light is luminance.

Axiom 3: forces by themselves are neither constituted of nor sufficient for luminance.

Conclusion: electricity and magnetism are neither constituted of nor sufficient for light (p.33).

Paul Churchland & Patricia Churchland, 1990.
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The Chinese Room Argument [4] »The Chinese Room Argument [4]
The Syntax-Semantics Barrier »The Syntax-Semantics Barrier
The Luminous Room argument
Luminous Room isn't the same as Chinese Room »Luminous Room isn't the same as Chinese Room
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