[ExI] Zombie glutamate

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun Feb 15 03:53:07 UTC 2015

On Sunday, February 15, 2015, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com>

> On 2/14/2015 3:40 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> On 15 Feb 2015, at 9:18 am, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','johnkclark at gmail.com');>> wrote:
>   On Sat, Feb 14, 2015  Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','brent.allsop at canonizer.com');>> wrote:
>  > Tomaz, William, and many others, it seems to me from what they say,
>> still don't understand what a redness quale is or is not.
>  You keep saying stuff like that but I would maintain that there is not a
> single member of this list who believes that redness and electromagnetic
> waves with a wavelength of  650 nm are the same thing. And they didn't need
> your paper to figure it out.
>  > how can you prove to everyone, qualitatively, experimentally, whether
>> it is system structure
>  You can't. You can't prove anything about consciousness to a third party
> and so obsessing over it is a lot like video games, a complete waste of
> time.
> What you can prove is that IF a being is conscious THEN its functional
> equivalent would also be conscious. This implies that consciousness is a
> necessary side-effect of certain types of behaviour.
> How is this in any way a "proof"?  How would you convince, anyone but a
> functionalist, that this is a "proof"?  Has this argument, that it is a
> "proof" ever converted anyone, anywhere?  Even chalmers doesn't call it a
> "proof".  In fact, if the prediction that reality is a materialist theory,
> much like the 3 color world described in the paper is validated by
> experimental science, this "conjecture" at best will clearely be proven, or
> at least demonstrable to everyone, that functionalism and it's so called
> "hard problem" is a that has been leading everyone completely astray for
> WAY to long, preventing everyone from making one of the most profound
> physical discoveries - ever.
> And, when you talk about "zombie glutmate", what I would like to see is
> what would you propose calling, whatever the equivalent term would be in
> some "functionalist" theoretical world?  I mean "zombie functional
> isomorph" may cut it in philosophical circles, but it certainly would never
> make it in any theoretical physics certicles since it is so obviously not
> even definable, in physical terms, let alone detectable or testable or
> falsifiably.  Philosophers love terms that aren't falsifiable, because
> nobody can falsify them.  But they are also completely useless in any
> theoretical science.
> It'd be a lot easier for experimental scientists to accept what you are
> describing, if you could define it in better terminology, in testable, or
> at least falsifiable ways.

Brent, I thought you more or less agreed with functionalism (though I don't
think you realised it) when you agreed recently that if a glutamate
analogue were substituted for regular glutamate and the subject said that
everything seemed just the same then his qualia would be just the same.
This is an experiment we could actually do today, using chemically
identical but isotopically different glutamate.

Stathis Papaioannou
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