On 7/12/2011 2:30 PM, Jason Resch wrote:


On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 8:17 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com <mailto:whatsons...@gmail.com>> wrote:


    Not sure what the cogito has to do with the presumption of the
    necessity of color. Omnipotence solves all problems by definition,
    doesn't it? I'm just using it as an example to show that it's
    ridiculous to think that the idea of color can just happen in a
    physical environment that doesn't already support it a priori. It does
    not evolve as a consequence of natural selection, not only because it
    serves no special function that unconscious detection would not
    accomplish, but because there is no precursor for it to evolve from,
    no mechanism for cells or organs to generate perception of color were
    it not already a built in possibility. I'm saying that color
    perception is more unlikely to exist in a purely physical cosmos than
    time travel or omnipotence as a possible physical adaptation. I'm
    trying to get at Jason's radical underestimation of the gap between
    zoological necessity and the possibility of color's existence.


I think the problem with Chalmer's view, is that by assuming a universe without qualia (or philosophical zombies) are possible, it inevitably leads to substance dualism or epiphenominalism. If zombies are possible, it means that consciousness is something extra which can be taken away without affecting anything. Thus, conscious would have no effects, which I think is against your view. Are you familiar with this: http://www.philforum.org/documents/An%20Unfortunate%20Dualist%20(Raymond%20Smullyan).pdf <http://www.philforum.org/documents/An%20Unfortunate%20Dualist%20%28Raymond%20Smullyan%29.pdf> ? If not, it can give you a feel for why zombies may be logically impossible. So what is your thought on this subject? Can a universe exist just like ours but have different qualia or none at all?

I think there are two different questions in play. Usually philosophical zombies are defined as acting just like us; but it is left open as to whether their internal information processing is just like ours. I think one might be able to create an artificial person who acted just like us, but who had somewhat different internal processing. They might experience qualia somewhat differently - how would you tell. My wife and I are always disagreeing about where to draw the line between blue and green. Is she experiencing the color differently? Part of the reason we assume other people experience qualia the way we do is that they are built like us. Suppose after building the artificial person and confirming it acts just like we do, you added a lot of memory capacity so that everything the artificial person looked at was recorded - but not accessed. Would this produce a difference in qualia?

Brent


My view is that qualia are necessary and identical anywhere an identical processing of information, at some substitution level, is performed. Thus, if it is done by a computer or a human, or a human in this universe or another universe, or a computer in this universe or a person in a different universe, the resulting qualia will be the same, because I believe qualia are a property of the mind, not a property of the physics on which the mind is built.

Jason
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