On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 2:27 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

>  On 7/3/2011 10:30 PM, Jason Resch wrote:
> On Sun, Jul 3, 2011 at 10:32 PM, B Soroud <bsor...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> "if you are thinking about consciousness, then what else could it have
>> been but consciousness that caused you to think about it"
>>  Are you saying consciousness literally causes you to objectify
>> consciousness? Consciousness as a base is required to reflect on
>> consciousness... the question is whether consciousness can truly be
>> objectified or only falsely so.
> There appears to be some confusion.  This is what I am saying:
> Selva asked if consciousness is causally effective.  My response is a
> thought experiment designed to show that it is:
> 1. Assume consciousness is not causally effective
> 2. It follows that consciousness has no effects
> 3. If consciousness has no effects, then whether present or not it makes do
> difference in what happens
> 4. Consider a universe identical to this one only without any consciousness
> (this is possible only in the case where consciousness is causally inert)
> 5. This universe would have zombie humans that talk about consciousness,
> that appear to wonder about consciousness, that write e-mail threads about
> consciousness, and so on, yet all this is happening in a universe where
> consciousness does not exist.
> 6. It seems odd that there would be zombies talking and wondering about
> consciousness in a universe where there is no such thing as consciousness.
> If on the other hand, consciousness is causally effective, as I believe it
> is, then zombie universes cannot be identical to our own.  Perhaps you see
> nothing wrong with a zombie universe with beings wondering about
> consciousness, but if you do, then you should doubt the assumption made at
> step 1.
> Jason
> You can make the parallel argument to show that the elan vital must be
> causally effective too.

Please explain what steps 5 and 6 would be for an argument showing the
causal effectiveness of a vital force, I was not able to come up with one
that fit.

It's like reifying "the weather" and then asking can there be wind and rain
> and sunshine without "the weather".

I think one of us is missing the other's point, but I am not sure who.

Do you think epiphenominalism is a consistent and valid possibility?  And if
not, what led you to that conclusion?  If you do, why do you think we
evolved consciousness in the first place (if it has no effects), why do we
feel thirst if it has no bearing (according to epiphenominalism) on whether
or not we decide to get water?



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