Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:
>> a) Darwinian evolution b) genetic learning algorithm.
> None of which have any innate capacity to launch or generate phenomenal
> consciousness and BOTH of which have to be installed by humans a-priori.
> When you don;t have either of that then what do you do? You are constantly
> assuming the existance of something you don't have! Move on. I am assuming
> nothing. No laws, no rules, no learning capacity, nothing - what nature
> had to start with.
>>> you with the external world is GONE. What
>>> more support do you want? What more is possible before
>>> a simple statement such as the one I make above becomes
>>> reasonable?
>> Nonsense.  On you're theory blind people aren't conscious.  And there are
>> even a few blind scientists.  The support I want is one that isn't hand
>> waving and assertions.
> I am trying to show you how progressively removing phenomenal
> consciousness progressively removes/alters your capacity to be scientific
> about the external natural world. Of _course_ they (the blind) can be
> scientists! Just not as adept. Reduced scope. They are likely to miss a
> lot of data without help from the sighted. That's all I claim. That is the
> key point. Phenomenal consciousness is crucially necessary.
>>> is what the zombie has...even worse. No awareness even of its own
>>> sensing. nothing. Now put yourself in the zombie's shoes for a while.
>> You just referring to the definition of "zombie" as not having
>> consciousness. Or, as per the coffee cup example, progressively
>> inhibit/alter/degrade phenomenal fields in the scientist. This is
>> something you can do on yourself. Conclusively.
> Let me see if I can repeat your argument:
>> 1) A zombie has no internal narrative (i.e. "phenomenal consciousness").
>> Functionally, it just manipulates inputs and produces outputs.
>> 2) I can't imagine doing science without an inner narrative.
>> 3) (1) and (2) entail that a zombie a can't do science.
>> 4) A digital computer just manipulates inputs and produces outputs.
>> 5) Therefore a digital computer is necessarily a zombie.
> Yes. You're there - Almost. My focus is not on zombies, it's on
> scientists.  It actually goes like this:
> 1) A scientist has access to the natural world external to the scientist
> through the a-priori 'knowledge' that is delivered through phenomenal
> consciousness (generated using sensory feeds by mystery natural world
> property X)

This access is purely through sensory perception, interpreted by a brain 
adapted to helping us survive and reproduce.  It is not particularly adapted to 
science, which is why things like quantum superposition and warped spacetime 
are not "accessible" to perception but must be understood through mathematics.

> 2) A human without phenomenal consciousness (zombied) has no such access,
> only phenomenally inert sensory affect and effect. 

None of us have access to Hilbert spaces, except through symbol manipulation.  
So according to your theory no one could have discovered quantum mechanics.

> distiguishes the measurements from the experience thus: eg PAIN --- the
> measurement is called nociception. (You don't even know this happens). The
> sensation attached to the measurement is called pain and is generated in
> the brain and projected to at site of the nociception, like you were a
> periscope. The zombied scientist has only nociception. Without the pain
> projection it wouldn't have a clue what the signal meant, while it died of
> the affliction causing the nociception-say a spear through the stomach
> from the neighbouring tribe. Death would go unnoticed by the zombie,
> because it didn't know it was alive in the first place... but that's
> incidental.)
> 3) 1) and 2) entail that a zombie or a zombie'd scientist can't do science
> ON THE EXTERNAL WORLD. The zombie could do brilliant science on the
> sensory actuation signals. That is not what human scientists do. 

More problematic that the majority of humans are not scientists and would fail 
utterly in developing a scientific theory about a new phenomena - yet we still 
suppose they are not zombies??

> The
> mandated role of experience in science was first established by Aristotle,
> I think.
> 4) Yes. Present day computers, anyway.
> 5) Yes, but only insofar as the computer fails to use the sensory signals
> implement phenomenal scenes. 

So if the computer is provided with the kind of background information that a 
human infant is born with (courtesy of evolution) then it would create internal 
models of the world based on its sensory input and it would therefore not be a 

>If the activities fail to make use of mystery
> natural world property X, then the computer will be a zombie. 

That seems vacuous.  All you are saying is there is some property (perhaps very 
complex) that corresponds to a computer having an internal narrative and a 
model of the external world based on perception.

Brent Meeker

>So it's not
> the fact of the I/O that matters it is the presence/absense of creation of
> phenomenal scenes that matters. 

But you have no way to know whether phenomenal scenes are created by a 
particular computer/robot/program or not because it's just mystery property 
defined as whatever creates phenomenal scenes.  You're going around in circles. 
 At some point you need to anchor your theory to an operational definition.  If 
you try to make doing unique science the operational test, then you've defined 
90% of humans and 100% of dogs, chimps, cats, etc. to be zombies.

Brent Meeker

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