[ExI] Where is Consciousness located?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Dec 24 04:55:16 UTC 2007

On 24/12/2007, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> I think that there is ample reason for evolution to favor
> a conscious being over a philosophical zombie since
> the latter do not exist, and probably are impossible!

Yes, this is what I was implying. If zombies were possible, that would
mean that consciousness was something extra and, as far as evolution
was concerned, superfluous: in which case, how could it have evolved?
The most obvious answer is that zombies are not possible, in which
case consciousness evolved as a necessary side-effect of intelligence,
not as something which could be optionally tacked on.

On the other hand, as I think Brent was suggesting, it is possible
that consciousness is only a necessary side-effect when evolution
tries to make build intelligence using the kinds of chemical reactions
that can arise spontaneously in nature. This means that the argument
from evolution cannot be used to show that an intelligent machine must
be conscious (although there are other arguments that can be used to
support this position).

Stathis Papaioannou

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