On 3/10/2010 6:57 PM, Jack Mallah wrote:
--- On Mon, 3/8/10, Stathis Papaioannou<stath...@gmail.com>  wrote:
In the original fading qualia thought experiment the artificial neurons could 
be considered black boxes, the consciousness status of which is unknown. The 
conclusion is that if the artificial neurons lack consciousness, then the brain 
would be partly zombified, which is absurd.
That's not the argument Chalmers made, and indeed he couldn't have, since he 
believes zombies are possible; he instead talks about fading qualia.

If you start out believing that computer zombies are NOT possible, the original 
thought experiment is moot; you already believe the conclusion.   His argument 
is aimed at dualists, who are NOT computationalists to start out.

Since partial consciousness is possible, which he didn't take into account, his 
argument _fails_; a dualist who does believe zombies are possible should have 
no problem believing that partial zombies are.  So dualists don't have to be 
computationalists after all.

I think this holds *whatever* is in the black boxes: computers, biological 
tissue, a demon pulling strings or nothing.
Partial consciousness is possible and again ruins any such argument.  If you don't believe to start 
out that consciousness can be based on "whatever" (e.g. "nothing"), you don't 
have any reason to accept the conclusion.

whatever is going on inside the putative zombie's head, if it reproduces the 
I/O behaviour of a human, it will have the mind of a human.
That is behaviorism, not computationalism, and I certainly don't believe it.  I 
wouldn't say that a computer that uses a huge lookup table algorithm would be 

Whatever consciousness is, it's almost certainly a system level property. We're not going to find a neuron even a small group of neurons that are conscious. If it's a system level property, then the system will include parts that aren't doing anything at any given time - yet the very fact they aren't will be part of the implementation of consciousness in that system.


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