> Hi,
> Le Vendredi 24 Novembre 2006 22:54, Colin Geoffrey Hales a écrit :
>> Now that there is a definite role of consciousness (access to novelty),
>> the statement 'functional equivalent' makes the original 'philosophical
>> zombie' an oxymoron...
> But functionnal equivalence is a requisite ! By definition, a zombie is
> a "creature" which acts and looks like any other conscious creature
> (human),
> who's behavior is undistinguishable from a real person but yet lacks any
> conscious experience. What this statement says is that you should accept
> one
> of these propositions :
> 1) Consciousness is not tied to a given behavior nor to a given physical
> attribute, replicating these does not give consciousness. (dualism)
> 2) Zombies are impossible, if you do a functionnaly identical being, it
> will
> be conscious. (physicalism or computationalism)

OK. Skip the whole zombie description. Call them Scientist_A and
Scientist_B. Let phenomenal consciousness = PC (because I am tired of
writing it!). Scientist_A has PC. Scientist_B doesn't.

Q. Is there any sort of brain we can give scientist Scientist_B that
enables scientific behaviour without PC?

A. NO. Reasons in the paper.

Scientist_B does not have to have Scientist_A's type of brain. But what
Scientist_B MUST have is PC. Otherwise Scientist_B will not be able to do
science. This is only claimed for scientific behaviour. Nothing else. It
clearly has implications elsewhere, though.

Where this fits into physicalism, computationalism, functionalism,
dualism, Xism, Yism, Zism?...frankly it won't change anything knowing
that....my guide is nature, not philosophy....although I would like to
calibrate the ideas in those terms so I can communicate it to those who do
care and explore the implications.

Practical Implications (reasons why I want this aired so badly):

1) There is a reason for computationalism being challenged. I care about
the future of AGI. For if $millions are being spent on AGI in the belief
that somehow the work involves the actual or eventual creation of
consciousness then those involved need to know there is the beginnings of
an argument against that belief. Also there is a valid reason to caution
those involved as to the expectations of performance: the zombies they are
making will be very habitat-bound and fragile in the face of novelty. This
is already seen in all AGI experiments to date. Talk to Rodney Brooks and
Gerald Edelman.

2) There is a reason for scientists (=me) to be challenged. Scientist are,
themselves, for the very first time, empirical evidence of something.
Scientists are empirical evidence of the reality of the existence of PC.
Therefore PC is now evidence of something. That something is currently not
being explored and never has in any focussed fashion. (a) PC delivers
scientific evidence and (b) it is also evidence in and of itself.
Scientists currently allow/demand (a) and disallow (b) for no good reason.
Now we have the evidence we can start to get used to the idea that (b) is
OK to explore. Scientists may say there is no doubt as to the existence of
consciousness.... and they may actually believe that... but if they really
did then activity (b) should be valid science - and it is not accepted as
such. This is a fundamental inconsistency at the heart of science.

That is ultimately what my paper is all about: cultural change.

But if you must have an 'ism bucket to put me in... let's see.....

I am a "radical dual aspect monist". I think.


Colin Hales

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