Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
> Hi Quentin,
>> Hi Colin,
> <<snip>>
>>> ... I am more interested in proving scientists aren't/can't be
>>> zombies....that it seems to also challenge computationalism in a
> certain
>>> sense... this is a byproduct I can't help, not the central issue. Colin
>> I don't see how the idea of zombies could challenge computationalism...
> Zombie
>> is an argument against dualism... in other way it is the ability to
> construct
>> a functionnal identical being as a conscious one yet the zombie is not
> conscious. Computationalism does not predict zombie simply because
> computationalism is one way to explain consciousness.
>> Quentin
> Now that there is a definite role of consciousness (access to novelty),
> the statement 'functional equivalent' makes the original 'philosophical
> zombie' an oxymoron...the first premise of 'functional equivalence' is
> wrong. The zombie can't possibly be functionally identical without
> consciousness, which stops it being a zombie!
> To move forward, the 'breed' of the zombie in the paper is not merely
> 'functionally identical'. That requirement is relaxed. Instead it is
> physically identical in all respects except the brain. This choice is
> justified empirically - the brain is known to be where it happens. Then
> there is an exploration of the difference between the human and zombie
> brains that could account for why/how one is conscious and the other is
> not. At that point (post-hoc) one can assess functional equivalence. The
> new zombie is born.
> Now...If I can show even one behaviour that the human can do that the new
> zombie can't replicate then I have got somewhere. The assessment benchmark
> chosen is 'scientific behaviour'. This is the 'function' in which
> equivalence is demanded. Of all human behaviours this one is unique
> because it is directed at the world _external_ to the scientist. It also
> produces something that is demanded externalised (a law of nature, 3rd
> person corroboration). The last unique factor is that the scientist
> creates something previously unknown by ALL. It is unique in this regard
> and the perfect benchmark behaviour to contrast the zombie and the human.
> So, I have my zombie scientist and my human scientist and I ask them to do
> science on exquisite novelty. What happens? The novelty is invisible to
> the zombie, who has the internal life of a dreamless sleep. 

Scientists don't literally "see" novel theories - they invent them by combining 
other ideas.  "Invisible" is just a metaphor.

>The reason it
> is invisible is because there is no phenomenal consciousness. The zombie
> has only sensory data to use to do science. There are an infinite number
> of ways that same sensory data could arrive from an infinity of external
> natural world situtations. The sensory data is ambiguous - it's all the
> same - action potential pulse trains traveling from sensors to brain.
> The zombie cannot possibly distinguish the novelty from the sensory data

Why can it not distinguish them as well as the limited human scientist?

> and has no awareness of the external world or even its own boundary.

Even simple robots like the Mars Rovers have awareness of the world, where they 
are, their internal states, and 

> OK.

No.  You've simply assumed that you know what "awareness" is and you have the 
defined a zombie as not having it.  You might as well have just defined 
"zombie" as "just like a person, but can't do science" or "can't whistle".  
Whatever definition you give still leaves the question of whether a being whose 
internal processes (and a fortiori the external processes) are functionally 
identical with a human's is conscious.

> Now, we have the situation where in order that science be done by a human
> we must have phenomenal consciousness. 

That's mere assertion.  But even if it's true it would only imply that a 
computational being that was functionally equivalent to a human at some 
low-level would  both be able to do science and be conscious.

Brent Meeker

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