Today, my professor proclaimed that there are non-logical ways of knowing (there aren’t), that animals have human-like consciousness (they don’t), and that anyone who thought otherwise was close-minded (they’re not). I spoke to her after class about John Searle’s Chinese Room experiment and how it is not only a strong objection to the idea that computers exhibit consciousness because they manipulate syntax correctly, but it is also a strong argument against the idea that animals have human-like consciousness. She didn’t like this, but there was no logical response. Just more of the same old question begging so prevalent these days.
I’m hard pressed for time, so I’ve linked to a great essay that explains Searle’s argument, the failure of philosophers to refute Searle, and how Searle’s argument applies to the question of whether or not animals have human-like consciousness. There is some technical jargon, but it is otherwise very readable. Here is the link:
Soli Deo Gloria.