>> so....yes the zombie can 'behave'. What I am claiming is they
>> cannot do _science_ i.e. they cannot behave scientifically.
>> This is a very specific claim, not a general claim.
> You're being unfair to the poor zombie robots. How could they
> possibly tell if they were in the factory or on the benchtop
> when the benchtop (presumably) exactly replicates the sensory
> feeds they would receive in the factory?
> Neither humans nor robots, zombie or otherwise, should be
> expected to have ESP.
Absolutely! But the humans have phenomenal consciousness in lieu of ESP,
which the zombies do not. To bench test "a human" I could not merely
replicate sensoiry feeds. I'd have to replicate the factory! The human is
connected to the external world (as mysterious as that may be and it's not
ESP!). The zombie isn't, so faking it is easy.
>> Now think about the touch..the same sensation of touch could
>> have been generated by a feather or a cloth or another finger
>> or a passing car. That context is what phenomenal
>> consciousness provides.
> But it is impossible to differentiate between different sources
> of a sensation unless the different sources generate a different
> sensation. If you close your eyes and the touch of a feather
> and a cloth feel the same, you can't tell which it was.
> If you open your eyes, you can tell a difference because
> the combined sensation (touch + vision) is different in the
> two cases. A machine that has touch receptors alone might not
> be able to distinguish between them, but a machine that has
> touch + vision receptors would be able to.
Phenomenal scenes can combine to produce masterful, amazing
discriminations. But how does the machine, without being told already by a
human, know one from the other? Having done that how can it combine and
contextualise that joint knowledge? You have to tell it how to learn.
Again a-priori knowledge ...
>> Yes but how is it to do anything to contextualise the input other than
>> correlate it with other signals? (none of which, in themselves, generate
>> any phenomenal consciousness, they trigger it downstream in the
> That's all we ever do: correlate one type of signal with another.
> The correlations get called various things such
> as "red", "circular", "salty", or perhaps "a weird taste"
> I have never encountered before, somewhere between salty
> and sweet, which also spills over into a sparkly purple
> visual sensation".
See the above. Synesthetes corrlate in weird ways. Sharp chees and purple
5. That is what humans do naturally. Associative memory. Sometimes it can
go wrong (or very right!). Words can tast bitter.
>> Put it this way.... a 'red photon' arrives and hits a retina cone and
>> isomerises a protein, causing a cascade that results in an action
>> potential pulse train. That photon could have come from alpha-centuri,
>> bounced off a dog collar or come from a disco light. The receptor has no
>> clue. Isomerisation of a protein has nothing to do with 'seeing'. In the
>> human the perception (sensation) of a red photon happens in the visual
>> cortex as an experience of redness and is 'projected' mentally into the
>> phenomenal scene. That way the human can tell where it came from. The
>> mystery of how that happens is another story. That it happens and is
>> necessary for science is what matters here.
> I don't think that's correct. It is impossible for a human to tell where
> the photon came from if it makes no sensory difference.
> That difference may have to involve other sensations, eg. if the
> red sensation occurs simultaneously with a loud bang
> it may have come from an explosion, while the same red sensation
> associated with a 1 KHz tone may have come from a warning beacon.
You're talking about cross-correlating sensations, not sensory
measurement. The human as an extra bit of physics in the generation of the
phenomenal scenes which allows such contextualisations. That's really what
this is all about. All the cross-modal correlation must happen consistent
with the phenomenal scene genration involved.
>> The main fact is that the zombie does not have sensation at all and that
>> as a result it cannot do science on the world outside the zombie. It's
>> doesn't even know there is a world to do science on. All it can do is
>> correlate measurements with each other, measurements that could have
>> from anywhere and the zombie can never tell from where.
> Alas, I am no better than the zombie in this respect.
> Stathis Papaioannou
Alas, it is perhaps sadder that you seem unable to appreciate that you are
most certainly amazingly superior to all zombies. The fact that you (and
many others, it seems) may not comprehend how that can be, or sadder
still, won't even allow the possibility of that ignorance....is a mere
trifle by comparison.
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