On 4/7/2012 6:18 AM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
On Fri, Apr 6, 2012 at 2:37 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi<use...@rudnyi.ru>  wrote:
On 05.04.2012 01:59 Stathis Papaioannou said the following:

On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 5:56 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi<use...@rudnyi.ru>    wrote:
On 03.04.2012 02:06 Stathis Papaioannou said the following:

Since there is no evolutionary advantage to consciousness it must be a
side-effect of the sort of behaviour that conscious organisms display.
Otherwise, why did we not evolve as zombies?

The evolutionary advantage of consciousness, according to Jeffrey Gray,
late-error detection.

But the late-error detection processing could be done in the same way
by a philosophical zombie. Since, by definition, a philosophical
zombie's behaviour is indistinguishable from that of a conscious being
there is no way that nature could favour a conscious being over the
equivalent philosophical zombie. You then have two options to explain
why we are not zombies:

(a) It is impossible to make a philosophical zombie as consciousness
is just a side-effect of intelligent behaviour;
(b) It is possible to make a philosophical zombie but the mechanism
for intelligent behaviour that nature chanced upon has the side-effect
of consciousness.

Though (b) is possible I don't think it's plausible.

Jeffrey Gray considers consciousness from a viewpoint of empirical studies.
Philosophical zombies so far exist only in the minds of crazy philosophers,
so I am not sure if this is relevant.

As I have written, conscious experience offers unique capabilities to tune
all running servomechanisms to the brain that otherwise it has not. This is
what neuroscience says. When neuroscience will find zombies, then it would
be possible to consider this hypothesis as well.

Clearly one can imagine that he/she is not zombie and others are zombies.
But then he/she must convince others that they are zombies.
I think you've missed the point. It is not necessary that
philosophical zombies exist, it is only necessary that the idea is
coherent. The question then is, Could philosophical zombies exist? If
you say no, then you are saying that consciousness is a necessary
side-effect of the kind of intelligent behaviour that humans display.
Do you believe that that is so, or do you believe that it is possible
for a being to be made that behaves just like a human but lacks
consciousness? You are free to dismiss this question as uninteresting
to you but I think it is still a coherent question.

But is it an empirical question? What would it mean for "neuroscience to find zombies"? We have some idea what it would mean to find a soul: some seemingly purposeful sequence of brain processes begin without any physical cause. But I'm not sure what test you would perform on a zombie to find that it was not conscious. I think if we had a very detailed understanding of the human brain we might be able to study and intelligent robot or a zombie android at the same level and say something like, "This zombie probably experiences numbers differently than people." But if it truly acted exactly like a human, we wouldn't be able to say what the difference was. Of course humans don't all act the same, some have synesthesia for example. So we might be able to say this zombie sees numbers with colors - but this would show up in the zombies actions too.


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