[ExI] Fwd: Paper on "Detecting Qualia" presentation at 2015 MTA conference

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Wed Feb 4 21:03:17 UTC 2015

On Thursday, February 5, 2015, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com>

> Hi Stathis,
> Had another thought that might help us communicate about when you said:
> On 2/2/2015 8:10 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>>  What I am claiming is that if you replace a part of
>>> the brain with another part that functions identically, in the sense
>>> of reproducing its I/O behaviour, then all of the behaviour and all of
>>> the experiences will be unchanged.
> If you have a reliable system that detects real glutamate, and can never
> be fooled, you will not be able to reproduce the detection of real
> glutamate as reliably,  just by reproducing the detector with some other
> simulated zombie I/O behavior, right?
> And once you replace the real glutamate, with simulated Zombie versions
> that aren't anything like the real thing, then this is clearly not the
> same, would you not agree?  And you can clearly make the claim that there
> is no real glutamate being detected by the simulation?

Glutamate has a particular function in the brain, which is to be released
into the synaptic cleft when an appropriate signal arrives down the axon
and attach to glutamate receptors, causing a change in their conformation
and thereby triggering a series of events in the postsynaptic neuron. You
could imagine replacing all the glutamate in the brain with nanodemons that
lie in wait at the synapse and on the appropriate signal jump out, grab the
glutamate receptors with their little arms, and squeeze them into the same
shape glutamate would. Assume that glutamate is implicated in experiencing
redness. These demons are clearly very different from glutamate, but the
subject who has his glutamate replaced with the demons will say, when you
ask him, that he still sees red, and will be able to correctly identify
red. Do you see that this must be so? Do you believe that the subject
really does see red, the same as before the replacement? How do you explain
this, if all the glutamate has gone?

Stathis Papaioannou
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