I'm engaged in a debate with a mate of mine over John Searle's Chinese Room thought experiment. I believe that the room doesn't understand Chinese because it lacks reasoning and the ability to weigh up all possible options and recognize the most appropriate answer. All the answers are already there and the answer given is not selected by the room itself but by the person and is dependent solely on whatever it is that they say.
His response to this (having weighed up all the possible options and recognized the most appropriate answer) was that we simply have different worldviews... that I'm an absolutist and he's an empiricist.
What exactly does he mean by this? What are your individual views on the subject?
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