Jason Resch wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 5:45 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]>> wrote:
>     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,
> What you described sounds very similar to a split brain patient I saw on 
> a documentary.  He was able to respond to images presented to one eye, 
> and ended up drawing them with a hand controlled by the other 
> hemisphere, yet he had no idea why he drew that image when asked.  The 
> problem may not be that he isn't experiencing the visualization, but 
> that the part of his brain that is responsible for speech is 
> disconnected from the part of his brain that can see.
> See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMLzP1VCANo
> Jason

I think experiments like this support the idea that consciousness is not a 
single thing.  We tend to identify conscious thought with the thought that is 
reported in speech.  But that's just because it is the thought that is readily 
accessible to experimenters.


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