[ExI] Coherent vs. Incoherent Fears of Being Uploaded

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Wed Jan 20 07:51:29 UTC 2010

2010/1/20 Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com>:
> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>> Also, a true philosophical zombie has no qualia at all,
>> and no understanding that it has no qualia
>> (because it has no understanding of anything).
> Yes. I believe that this is how those who believe in qualia
> use the terms. But to my surprise, you seem to believe
> that it makes sense to talk of qualia. You do?

Qualia, consciousness, subjectivity, experience, intentionality,
understanding: What a ridiculous question! Of course I believe in
these things! So do you! So does everyone who is able to believe
anything! But I also believe that they are related to the information
processing that goes on in my brain in the same way that raising my
arm is related to contraction of my deltoid muscle causing abduction
of my humerus.

>>> We come right back to the fundamental question: does
>>> the functional equivalent supply the subjectivity,
>>> i.e., supply the "qualia" of existence?
> When I use the term, I am forgiven===because I only do so
> to communicate with the heathen who don't understand.
> While I find it *conceivable* that there could be
> zombies, I consider it ridiculous, for many reasons,
> chief among them is that nature presumably could
> have economized by turning out zombies instead of
> us.

The philosophical argument turns on the meaning of the term
"conceivable". Chalmers says that zombies are conceivable, but
probably physically impossible. Searle says they are both conceivable
and physically possible. Dennett says they are not even conceivable,
that is, the idea leads to a logical contradiction. I tend to agree
with Dennett.

Stathis Papaioannou

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