Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 58, Issue 2, 2021

Pavel N. BaryshnikovOrcid-ID
Pages 95-112

Difficult Points of Chess Metaphor in the Theoretical Questions of Language and Mind

This review article reveals the structural components of the chess metaphor, which represent in an unusual perspective the properties of a linguistic sign and its connection with mental processes. Strict rule-following and the conventionality of the material plane of expression turn chess into a convenient illustration of a universal linguistic structure. Particular attention is paid to the computer profile of the chess metaphor, since it reflects a whole complex of philosophical problems of computer science about mind, thinking and intelligence. In the proposed paper, the presentation of most of the material is based on the works of F. de Saussure, L. Hjelmslev, L. Wittgenstein and their interpreters, in whose texts an obvious important place is occupied by chess analogies and theoretical conclusions initiated by them. First we investigate chess metaphor in the context of language and speech structures. Next, we analyze the "chess track" in the problem of individual language and the rule-following problem. The final part is devoted to the technical elements of computer chess and the influence of this area of computer science on some of the points of cognitive theories of language and mind. The author of the article emphasizes a nontrivial transformation of the conceptual content of the chess metaphor, which indicates the evolution of computational tendencies in modern theories about language and mind. The article substantiates the thesis that the traditional chess metaphor used in the XX century in the philosophical investigation of language and mind, today it takes on a realization in the framework of computer models of the chess game. Machine deep learning can significantly expand the horizon of computability. Game interaction makes it possible to ascribe the elements of intentional content to machine functions. Nevertheless, all the argumentation in the work is aimed at proving that the rules governing language and mind are rules different from the rules of computer intelligence.