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Title: Satan stultified: a rejoinder to Paul Benacerraf
Authors: Lucas, John R.
Keywords: Gödel, KurtBenacerraf, Paul
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: John R. Lucas, "Satan stultified: a rejoinder to Paul Benacerraf", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, V (2003) 1
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
V (2003) 1
Benacerraf criticizes Lucas’ argument against Mechanism because, in his opinion, it depends too much on how the system we are talking about is presented and because the argument put in form of challenge reduces itself to a contest of wits between Lucas and the mechanists. In Benacerraf opinion, Lucas should clarify the sense of utilised notions and the argument would have to be reconstructed as formally as possible, in order to determine the involved philosophical premises. Moreover Benacerraf maintains that, instead of abandoning the idea that human mind is a machine, we could assume that minds are machines for which it is not possible to prove the consistency or that they are inadequate for arithmetic; moreover minds could be machines whose characteristics we are not able to specify. However, Lucas answers that the requirement of reconstructing his argument in a formal way misunderstands his project: his argument is not a direct proof but a dialectical argument, a schema of disproof for any particular version of mechanist argument, and so the attempt to reconstruct it as a rigorous proof is a distortion of the original argument, that is essentially dialectical. What about the hypothesis suggested by Benacerraf, Lucas disputes that we are able to manage arithmetic and we don’t seem as inconsistent as an inconsistent system is, because we are selective while an inconsistent system is not; at the other hand, the idea that we are machine but we don’t know anything about what kind of machine we are evacuates Mechanism of all content.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2003) V/1

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