16 Gennaio 2012

Interview with John Searle

Human consciousness: a semantic machine?

"John Searle is Professor of Philosophy of Mind and Language at the University of California-Berkeley, author of a dozen books and hundreds of articles on this subject. We met him in June 2011 in Bologna, where he held a seminar at the Institute for Advanced Studies (University of Bologna). He defines his position on mind and consciousness as "biological naturalism", so that it would be provided with a subjective reality, but finally based on neural processes in the brain. Roberto Ferrari and Stefano Poletti interviewed him on the "conscious" nature of each "natural" statement, on how to represent what it represents, and on the fact that a man can think about meanings even if he only has a bio-mechanical base (the theme of the Chinese room). John Searle was also asked to comment his famous statement: "Where consciousness is involved, the reality is the existence of the appearance". At the end, an open problem: "The mystery of consciousness", from the title of the famous book written by the philosopher, is related to how consciousness is given (subjective, neurological, intentional) or to the fact that there is a consciousness?" 

Interviewers: Roberto Ferrari and Stefano Poletti

Translated from the Italian version by Marianna Turriciano. 

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