On Sunday, October 21, 2012 3:39:11 PM UTC-4, rclough wrote:
> BRUNO:  Keep in mind that zombie, here, is a technical term. By definition 
> it   
> behaves like a human. No humans at all can tell the difference. Only   
> God knows, if you want. 
> ROGER: I  claim that it is impossible for any kind of zombie 
> that has no mind to act like a human. IMHO  that would 
> be an absurdity, because without a mind you cannot know 
> anything.  You would run into walls, for example, and 
> couldn't know what to do in any event. Etc. 
> You couldn't understand language. 
Roger I agree that your intuition is right - a philosophical zombie cannot 
exist in reality, but not for the reasons you are coming up with. Anything 
can be programmed to act like a human in some level of description. A 
scarecrow may act like a human in the eyes of a crow - well enough that it 
might be less likely to land nearby. You can make robots which won't run 
into walls or chatbots which respond to some range of vocabulary and 
sentence construction. The idea behind philosophical zombies is that we 
assume that there is nothing stopping us in theory from assembling all of 
the functions of a human being as a single machine, and that such a 
machine, it is thought, will either have the some kind of human-like 
experience or else it would have to have no experience.

The absent qualia, fading qualia paper is about a thought experiment which 
tries to take the latter scenario seriously from the point of view of a 
person who is having their brain gradually taken over by these substitute 
sub-brain functional units. Would they see blue as being less and less blue 
as more of their brain is replaced, or would blue just suddenly disappear 
at some point? Each one seems absurd given that the sum of the remaining 
brain functions plus the sum of the replaced brain functions, must, by 
definition of the thought experiment, equal no change in observed behavior.

This is my response to this thought experiment to Stathis:

*Stathis: In a thought experiment we can say that the imitation stimulates 
the *
*surrounding neurons in the same way as the original.* 

Craig: Then the thought experiment is garbage from the start. It begs the 
question. Why not just say we can have an imitation human being that 
stimulates the surrounding human beings in the same way as the original? 
Ta-da! That makes it easy. Now all we need to do is make a human being that 
stimulates their social matrix in the same way as the original and we have 
perfect AI without messing with neurons or brains at all. Just make a whole 
person out of person stuff - like as a thought experiment suppose there is 
some stuff X which makes things that human beings think is another human 
being. Like marzipan. We can put the right pheromones in it and dress it up 
nice, and according to the thought experiment, let’s say that works. 

You aren’t allowed to deny this because then you don’t understand the 
thought experiment, see? Don’t you get it? You have to accept this flawed 
pretext to have a discussion that I will engage in now. See how it works? 
Now we can talk for six or eight months about how human marzipan is 
inevitable because it wouldn’t make sense if you replaced a city gradually 
with marzipan people that New York would gradually fade into less of a New 
York or that New York becomes suddenly absent. It’s a fallacy. The premise 
screws up the result.


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