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A refutation of Penrose's Gödelian case against artificial intelligence

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Having, as it is generally agreed, failed to destroy the computational conception of mind with the Godelian attack he articulated in his The Emperor's New Mind, Penrose has returned, armed with a more elaborate and more fastidious Gödelian case, expressed in Chapters 2 and 3 of his Shadows of the Mind. The core argument in these chapters is enthymematic, and when formalized, a remarkable number of technical glitches come to light. Over and above these defects, the argument, at best, is an instance of either the fallacy of denying the antecedent, the fallacy of petitio principii, or the fallacy of equivocation. More recently, writing in response to his critics in the electronic journal Psyche, Penrose has offered a Gödelian case designed to improve on the version presented in SOTM. But this version is yet again another failure. In falling prey to the errors we uncover, Penrose's new Gödelian case is unmasked as the same confused refrain J. R. Lucas initiated 35 years ago.
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Keywords: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE; COMPUTATIONALISM; GODEL'S INCOMPLETENESS THEOREMS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Psychology & Cognitive Science, Department of Computer Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY 12180 USA

Publication date: 01 July 2000

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