Reece Nathan Russo

The Great Russo, Sorcerer Supreem

To Argue Against Being a P-zombie

If it appears to me I am conscious, then I am conscious.

I didn't say I couldn't be mistaken, I said I couldn't be mistaken about the existence of my conscious states. I think I get David Chalmer's Hard Problem of Consciousness, but not really so much until I understood his Philosophical Zombie problem. Which is why I stressed my intro of that I do know I have experiences.

I stressed my intro of that I do know I have experiences. If you say you are solipsist, and I know I have internal experiences, it invalidates your claim. I will look into your followups, especially Dennett's Various As far as I can tell from your response, I don't think you're grokking what I was trying to say. Why am I not a philosophical zombie? Of course if I were, would I ever ask if I wasn't? The only thing I can think of, is believing I have experiences is akin to a feedback loop. We can only sum it up using our own knowledge as a basis, "I think therefore I am. " If you actually wanted to know what I mean I will happily explain further, but it does not appear that you are genuinely curious to see what I mean. If it appears to me I am conscious, then I am conscious.

I could imagine a body or a machine that operates without any internal states of reflections, yet I have internal states of reflection. I'm sure outwardly to others I might appear to be, but internally I would know otherwise. I think I see your point. Assuming we take other peoples at their words to resolve the other minds problem, then I think the problem is still valid. Just because I think I'm in a vat doesn't mean I am. I was describing an answer to the thread's general question Right, but as would-be answers go I think its immediate effect is rather to raise some questions. I personally cannot believe internally to my own mind that I do not have experiences. Maybe if I could bridge that gap, maybe I could see that the feedback loop is really what I equate with consciousness, and it's not really anything different than a p-zombie. I know there's plenty of philosophical and argumentative work to be done here because most people currently inhabit a worldview that includes "experiences", but that will change ! I know its not the exact same thing you were talking about but it fits your picture a little. I thought the issue of zombiehood was more of a "who's in the driver seat" then "what's riding in the car. " This solipsistic musing is a good way to go about pointing out one of the major flaws with the "philosophical zombie" thought experiment-- It flagrantly begs the question. Here is a simple form of the zombie argument from the SEP - The simplest version of the conceivability argument goes: P1. Let's just say I never even used that word, it is not important to the points I'm trying to make. Maybe you don't really have experiences, but are a zombie with the disposition to report that you do. The zombie is the body or machine operating without these things, but you operate with these things. I may be mistaken about what those conscious states “are” eg neuronal activity, immaterial mind etc, but I'm not mistaken about the fact they exist. I wouldn't know if they had experiences, but were just "robots" acting like they did, it would alleviate the problem that they stemmed from me.

I think that the statement is meant to apply to me viewing other people. I was describing an answer to the thread's general question about thoughts about a problem.

Me either, I did not intend anywhere to appeal to solipsistic premises in my argument. What are you going to say to these two people: Phenomenologist: "I can conceive of a square circle. " If there is no physical thing we can use to distinguish between a zombie and a human, conscious states must be non-physical, therefore physicalism is false. I know this doesn't really address whether this is really testable.

Taking It Further

The next step is to say: Since you cannot detect if you are a zombie or not you can't know if you have experiences.

I was correcting the misunderstanding you base your line of argument on so you didn't have to waste time arguing against a strawman. If you admit this is true, you've conceded the argument, because you've just agreed conscious states aren't physical. I do not claim to know this to be the case, but my current preferred model of human beings does not posit "experiences" at all. This solipsistic musing Thanks for clarifying, I misinterpreted your statement it follows that you cannot distinguish whether you are a P-zombie or not So. To simply stipulate, as Chalmers does repeatedly something like: I feel experience. I would still get at the basis of Descartes problem, doubting his own existence. This is not, for me, an "other minds" issue at all, I am talking about only one person right now: you and you alone. it follows that you cannot distinguish whether you are a P-zombie or not I think that the statement is meant to apply to me viewing other people. We can't be mistaken if we say we know we have conscious experiences since they are directly experienced.

I'm not particularly confident about the arguments available for it, though certainly I agree it's an important part of the conceptual space to be taken seriously.

In that case, I don't see what would be involved in an objection of hand-waving: there's nothing vicious about someone refraining to agree to your premise. I believe it's similar to Putnam's problem of the boltzman brain. I got the idea thinking about integrated information theory and how algorithms can process data systematically I only see how this argument would be a difficult one to test. so I suppose you do not find any problem with the anthropic principle. but it does not appear that you are genuinely curious to see what I mean. So they can't be the same problem, despite that fact that they're both attempts to link consciousness with a material world. I mean, can you tell yourself that you do not have experiences? But I'm suggesting, give an account of X, the putative alternative method of zombie detection, that does not beg the question against the behaviorist-physicalist-eliminativist.

Maybe over time people like Dennett and I can work on showing you how. I am saying that you cannot distinguish whether or not you is a P-zombie. But I think reason is a good thing. I may get around to making that other thread. Appeals to "direct introspection of conscious experiences" is something you must argue for, not just repeat more loudly.

An avowal "I have experiences" doesn't prove anything at all. I can't assume a turing test wouldn't be capable of lying. edit formatting I don't find the idea of solipsism very convincing.

Daniel Dennett is currently the best expositor of the reasons to deflate and dismiss the hard problem. Even if there's no conceivable solution to skepticism or the hard problem, that doesn't secure your point. a solution to external world skepticism wouldn't automatically solve the hard problem of consciousness, nor vice versa. If the mind was just along for the ride, would the bodies we observe really represent thinking individuals? Which you try to do here: We can't be mistaken if we say we know we have conscious experiences since they are directly experienced. I don't know what you mean by this.

Why would one assume that there is a perfect correlation between a "power of the human mind" like "conception" and a metaphysical necessity like "is possible"? If you used your self as a point of reference, would you say about yourself that you have experiences? I hope you find a way to come join our team someday. I'm not really sure what you're referring to here, but it doesn't sound to me like what I've asserted. One of the tropes one hears attributed to P-zombies is: "They are indistinguishable from conscious agents. " If there are thinking things and things that are not thinking but can fool us as if they are thinking. The fact that you can't detect a p-zombie from outward signs is kind of the point of the thought experiment.

You might be right when you claim to have experiences, but you also might be wrong about that claim. I don't find the idea of solipsism very convincing.

And if you are one, then you don't have experiences after all, even though you believe and report that you do. Since you don't know that you're not a P-zombie you don't know that you have experiences. The reason its incoherent for there to be something that acts entirely conscious without being so. I disagree with both premises of this argument. That once someone says they have experiences, whether they have them or not, that is enough for one to start the argument.

And as a follow up, would the existence of true akratic behavior support at least a partial acceptance of an epiphenomenalist view? Since you are not making an argument, but merely, as I mentioned, saying something louder, repeating a mantra, reinforcing a dogma, I don't know what you expect me to say other than: You are not a reasonable person.

But if people find the thesis implausibly, I don't see that that's viciously hand-wavey--we have to do some work to convince them, and that's on us rather than on them. Why would other professional philosophers continue to discuss a fallacious argument? I'm not sure why you're presenting the fact that positions are generally argued for as supports as some kind of unknown fact. I feel experience. But to say that means we can't detect our own conscious states is obviously wrong. This sounds like what I was trying to get at in my original response-- you appear to me to be advocating the question begging form of the P-zombie argument.

This is not surprising but I see it as unfortunate.

Would we all be zombies were the relationship between mind and body be explained best by epiphenomenalism? It would be a different matter of course if you were arguing for it, rather than appealing to it as an accepted premise. Why would a professional philosopher propose a fallacious argument? I'll try to clarify here a bit, and if you want you could try reading my original response again with a renewed ear.

Which indeed is the position taken by some stripes of behaviorists, functionalists, eliminativists, and others; myself included. Is this sort of reasoning a good thing or don't they discuss things like that in your exclusive team? I cannot deny my own thinking. If you are getting at this problem being untestable, which makes bad investigative science.

Based on Chalmers' own definition it follows that you cannot distinguish whether you are a P-zombie or not. However, my point is basically the inverse, what I'm saying to you is: Just because you think you have experiences doesn't mean you do. I appreciate your response. Then I would agree.

The point is there is no way for you to know if “other people” are p-zombies. It kind of has big ramifications The reason for this is simple: P-zombihood by definition is undetectable. If you think that you, a finite, fallible, partially intelligent partially ignorant, biased, evolved creature cannot be mistaken about something then I suppose there is no point talking with you about it. So that means there is no way to distinguish between humans and p-zombies by referring to anything physical. Why would we discuss a fallacious argument?