On Sun, Apr 8, 2012 at 6:30 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> 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. It's not an empirical question since no experiment can prove that it isn't a zombie. However, I think that the question can be approached analytically. If zombies were possible then zombie brain components would be possible. If zombie brain components were possible then it would be possible to make a being that is a partial zombie; for example, that was blind but behaved normally and did not realise it was blind. If partial zombies are possible then we could be partial zombies. If we were partial zombies that would destroy the fundamental distinction between consciousness and zombiehood: that at least I know if I am conscious even if I can't prove it to others. So if zombies are possible then zombies are no different to conscious beings. Hence, either zombies are impossible or consciousness is impossible. -- Stathis Papaioannou -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.