On 09 Jan 2013, at 20:56, David Nyman wrote:

On 9 January 2013 18:17, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

David Nyman's heuristic makes me think that they could be zombie, but I am not sure this can work with comp.

Don't forget that we are speaking only of a heuristic, or guide for thought. The idea is to evaluate what consequences might follow, for the phenomenon of "observation" in general, if it were to be considered to be the exclusive property of a single, abstract knower which continuously sampled, one by one, the set of all possible observer moments putatively associable with some underlying 3p system. It is not however, as such, a proposal for a novel mechanism of any sort. Consequently ISTM that any fears relating to zombies would be justified only if one had a principled reason to suppose that observable continuations of very low measure would somehow be inaccessible to such a heuristic.

I am still not sure this does not simply add a layer of difficulty, because it is not clear (to me) what can possibly be such a sampling.

My contention is that this could not be so, by definition, but that nonetheless such continuations would be highly atypical "events" in the universal stream of consciousness.


By this I don't simply mean that they are unusual in themselves, but rather that any given OM (like the one "you" are experiencing when you read this) is very unlikely to be such a continuation. In terms of the heuristic, all experiences in the universal stream are alike "partitioned" from each other by the intrinsic structure of "global memory", but some experiences are destined to be remembered much less frequently than others. Of course, in some sense, whatever is being "observed" is always a "zombie" (i.e. we cannot discern consciousness by observable phenomena alone) but this should not be understood to mean that the relevant OMs, associated with each "zombie avatar", are not accessible in due course and in due measure.




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