Whatever is referred to must exist. Let us call this the axiom of existence.
My car and my adding machine understand nothing: they are not in that line of business.
In many cases it is a matter for decision and not a simple matter of fact whether x understands y; and so on.
Where conscious subjectivity is concerned, there is no distinction between the observation and the thing observed.
Where questions of style and exposition are concerned I try to follow a simple maxim: if you can't say it clearly you don't understand it yourself.
I will argue that in the literal sense the programmed computer understands what the car and the adding machine understand, namely, exactly nothing.
Berkeley had a liberal element in the student body who tended to be quite active. I think that's in general a feature of intellectually active places.
I want to block some common misunderstandings about ""understanding"": In many of these discussions one finds a lot of fancy footwork about the word ""understanding.""
There are clear cases in which ""understanding"" literally applies and clear cases in which it does not apply; and these two sorts of cases are all I need for this argument.
An utterance can have Intentionality, just as a belief has Intentionality, but whereas the Intentionality of the belief is intrinsic the Intentionality of the utterance is derived.