A variant of Chalmers' "Fading Qualia" argument
(http://consc.net/papers/qualia.html) can be used to show Alice must
be conscious.

Alice is sitting her exam, and a part of her brain stops working,
let's say the part of her occipital cortex which enables visual
perception of the exam paper. In that case, she would be unable to
complete the exam due to blindness. But if the neurons in her
occipital cortex are stimulated by random events such as cosmic rays
so that they pass on signals to the rest of the brain as they would
have normally, Alice won't know she's blind: she will believe she sees
the exam paper, will be able to read it correctly, and will answer the
questions just as she would have without any neurological or
electronic problem.

If Alice were replaced by a zombie, no-one else would notice, by
definition; also, Alice herself wouldn't notice, since a zombie is
incapable of noticing anything (it just behaves as if it does). But I
don't see how it is possible that Alice could be *partly* zombified,
behaving as if she has normal vision, believing she has normal vision,
and having all the cognitive processes that go along with normal
vision, while actually lacking any visual experiences at all. That
isn't consistent with the definition of a philosophical zombie.

Stathis Papaioannou

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