Brent: why do you believe IN *"QUALIA"?* they are just as human assumptions (in our belief system) as* "VALUE"* (or, for that matter: to take seriously your short (long?) term memories). A* "ZOMBIE"* is the subject of a thought experiment in our humanly aggrandizing anthropocentric boasting. A dog? With the incredible complexity we must assume for (mental) brain(function) it is almost ridiculous to speak about "partial brains" - especially in the same breath where we assume what the loss of 1 (one) or even of an infinitesimally small part of ONE neuron may do. How about the non-neuronal ingredients, like prions, a little structural change of which may cause (I would rather say: 'indicate') mad cow disease. John
On 3/16/10, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> wrote: > > On 3/16/2010 6:03 AM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote: > > On 16 March 2010 20:29, russell standish <li...@hpcoders.com.au> > <li...@hpcoders.com.au> wrote: > > > I've been following the thread on Jack's partial brains paper, > although I've been too busy to comment. I did get a moment to read the > paper this evening, and I was abruptly stopped by a comment on page 2: > > "On the second hypothesis [Sudden Disappearing Qualia], the > replacement of a single neuron could be responsible for the vanishing > of an entire field of conscious experience. This seems antecedently > implausible, if not entirely bizarre." > > Why? Why isn't it like the straw that broke the camel's back? When > pulling apart a network, link by link, there will be a link removed > that causes the network to go from being almost fully connected to > being disconnected. It need not be the same link each time, it will > depend on the order in which the links are removed. > > I made a similar criticism against David Parfitt's Napoleon thought > experiment a couple of years ago on this list - I understand that > fading qualia is a popular intuition, but it just seems wrong to > me. Can anyone give me a convincing reason why the suddenly > disappearing qualia notion is absurd? > > > Fading qualia would result in a partial zombie, and that concept is > self-contradictory. It means I could be a partial zombie now, > completely blind since waking up this morning, but behaving normally > and unaware that anything unusual had happened. The implications of > this is that zombie vision is just as good as normal vision in every > objective and subjective way, so we may as well say that it is the > same as normal vision. In other words, the qualia can't fade and leave > the behaviour of the brain unchanged. > > > > I think this is a dubious argument based on our lack of understanding of > qualia. Presumably one has many thoughts that do not result in any overt > action. So if I lost a few neurons (which I do continuously) it might mean > that there are some thoughts I don't have or some associations I don't make, > so eventually I may "fade" to the level of consciousness of my dog. Is my > dog a "partial zombie"? > > I think the question of whether there could be a philosophical zombie is > ill posed because we don't know what is responsible for qualia. I speculate > that they are tags of importance or value that get attached to perceptions > so that they are stored in short term memory. Then, because evolution > cannot redesign things, the same tags are used for internal thoughts that > seem important enough to put in memory. If this is the case then it might > be possible to design a robot which used a different method of evaluating > experience for storage and it would not have qualia like humans - but would > it have some other kind of qualia? Since we don't know what qualia are in a > third person sense there seems to be no way to answer that. > > Brent > > Chalmers thinks partial zombies are absurd but does not believe that > full zombies are prima facie absurd. Accepting this, it would seem to > be possible that one could suddenly transition from fully conscious to > fully zombified without going through an intermediate stage. For > example, this could happen with the swapping of one neuron. However, > it wouldn't be the neuron that causes the change, it would be an > infinitesimally small part of the neuron. This is because the neuron > itself, like the brain, could be replaced with functionally identical > components. For the same reason that qualia can't fade for the whole > brain, qualia can't fade for the neuron. So the qualia would have to > suddenly disappear with the swapping of one single indivisible > component of the neuron. Are you prepared to say that it is possible > there is a single subatomic particle in your brain which makes the > difference between consciousness and zombiehood? > > > > > > -- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > "Everything List" group. > To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com. > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to > everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com<everything-list%2bunsubscr...@googlegroups.com> > . > For more options, visit this group at > http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. > -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.