Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Napoleon Mabaquiao

Defense Panel Chair

Jeremiah Joven B. Joaquin

Defense Panel Member

Sidney Diamante
Mark Anthony Dacela


Are computers and minds alike? In computer functionalism, also known as strong AI, it is believed that the brain functions computationally in the same way a digital computer does. If a brain functions in exactly the same way as a computer hardware and the mind as a computer software, then the instantiation of an artificial mind is possible. Supporters and enthusiasts of strong AI believe that a program that can pass the Turing test would yield stronger possibilities of an artificial mind. In contrast, John Searle believes that there is something more to the mind than just computations. In his Chinese room argument, John Searle presented a challenge to the concept of Strong AI. In this argument Searle questions the idea of syntax as being sufficient for semantics. He states in the argument that formal symbol manipulations are not enough to create a mind. Consequently, many Strong AI supporters do not accept Searle's negative conclusion on the theory of Strong AI, and this started the Searle and Strong AI debate. Until now, there has been no clear-cut answer to which side is right. The debate between Searle and the Strong AI supporters still continues to open new concepts and perspectives. Now, in contrast to most philosophical literatures which present counter-arguments for Searles Chinese room argument, this thesis shall defend Searles position. In particular, it shall demonstrate how Searle was able to present a coherent defense of the Chinese argument from its critics, including those who use the connectionist framework.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall


Artificial intelligence; John Rogers Searle; Intellect

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