virus: Verify mind

Eric Boyd (
Sat, 15 Nov 1997 17:55:50 -0500

Hi all;

> >As to varifiability [sic]...ask anyone if they have a mind, I think > most would
> >varify [sic] that they do.
> Cogito ergo sum.
> Yes, I suppose most people would _answer_ that they had a mind.
> We can be skeptical of any such claim however. Not one of 'em could
> _verify_ it.

Having just watched The Planet of the Apes, I can't help but point out the
similarity -- the lone human is asked to "prove" he can think, and then his
"intelligence" is tested by asking him questions (which of course he can't
answer because they were culturally specific).

How do we verify having a mind?

You could test for knowledge of logical argumentation -- ask the
participant to construct a logical argument supporting <x> -- but what if
they've never taken a critical thinking course? What if they are
unfamiliar with the subject matter?

You see, the problem is that there is no thing "intelligence" that we can
test apart from "knowledge", and you can't rely on the person knowing
anything about any given topic.

What exactly CAN we test for that would be a good test?

I think the turing test is the only way -- and we all know that half the
time *people* don't get ranked as people, let alone the machines!