[ExI] Zombie glutamate

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Feb 14 09:01:20 UTC 2015

On 14 February 2015 at 14:49, Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:
> In trying follow another thread, I kept running into a term I can't process:
> What in Darwin's name is zombie glutamate?
> Is it the salt you get by reacting an alkaline zombie with glutamic acid? And what is zombie red for that matter? I know what philosophic zombies are but since when did zombie become an adjective?
> And most importantly what does it *mean*?
> Stuart LaForge

I think I came up with "zombie glutamate" in response to Brent Allsop.
Brent believes that consciousness is not due to the system structure
but rather to the substrate. His example is that the neurotransmitter
glutamate may be responsible for red sensations (this is just an
example, Brent makes clear, not the actual role of glutamate). So if
you substitute glutamate for some functional analogue, you eliminate
or change the red sensations, even though the subject may be able to
recognise that what he is seeing is supposed to be red and can talk
about it as if he does see red - "zombie red". But I don't agree with
this: I think that if you replace the glutamate with a functional
analogue such as glutamate made of different isotopes to the ones
normally present ("zombie glutamate") the subject's brain will
function exactly the same and the subject will experience and report
experiencing exactly the same sensations. In fact, I don't believe
philosophical zombies are possible.

Stathis Papaioannou

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list