[ExI] Zombie glutamate

Tomaz Kristan protokol2020 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 18 17:10:17 UTC 2015

Since people do talk about the consciousness this much ...  I have a
theory, that they indeed are conscious. Just as I am.

Had they weren't conscious, they wouldn't bother debating it so

On Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 2:07 PM, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com>

> Hi Stathis,
> On 2/17/2015 4:38 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>> On 18 February 2015 at 02:36, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi John,
>>> You keep saying:  "You can't prove if something else is conscious."  But,
>>> does your left brain hemisphere not know, more than we know anything, not
>>> only that your right hemisphere is it conscious, but what it is
>>> qualitatively like.  And if that is possible, why are you assuming we
>>> can't
>>> do the same thing the corpus callosum is doing, between brains, not just
>>> between brain hemispheres?
>> That's an interesting and relevant point about the left and right
>> hemispheres of the brain. It does, however, illustrate that the only
>> way we can really know what it is like to experience something is to
>> become a part of the system that is doing the experiencing. I could
>> attempt to find out what it is like to be a bat by interfacing with a
>> bat's brain (and then the bat would also find out what it is like to
>> be me). An objection to this, however, is that I would not be finding
>> out what it is like to be a bat, but rather a bat-human hybrid, which
>> may be quite different. And there is no obvious way I can see to find
>> out what it is like to be a more alien system such as a thermostat,
>> for example.
> You must have missed the section in the paper pointing out the difference
> between compost vs elemental quale.  You are talking about compost qualia,
> here, and I completely agree with you.  But effing an elemental redness
> quale is very different.  And, once you can bridge the explanatory gap with
> elemental quale, more complex types of composite effing are just more
> complex "easy" variations on the theme.
>  Well, to me it also seems that you are missing the obvious (and John
>> also, and he actually agrees with me!). The obvious is this: if you try to
>> make zombie glutamate you will fail, because if the substitute glutamate
>> has the relevant functional properties (i.e. it binds to glutamate
>> receptors and changes their conformation) then it will necessarily also
>> replicate any role natural glutamate plays in consciousness. For if it were
>> possible to make substitute glutamate that performed the same as natural
>> glutamate but did not replicate natural glutamate's role in consciousness,
>> then you could create a being lacking an aspect of consciousness (likely a
>> very big aspect, since glutamate is so widespread in the brain) but
>> behaving normally and believing that they feel normal. I have repeated the
>> last sentence many times in many different ways but it doesn't seem to get
>> through. Maybe it is because you think that the functional isomorph of
>> glutamate would NOT necessarily result in normal behaviour? But then it
>> wouldn't be a functional isomorph! Maybe you think the functional isomorph
>> would result in normal behaviour but consciousness would still be altered?
>> But then there would be a decoupling between consciousness and behaviour:
>> the subject could be blind, or in terrible pain, and his mouth would of its
>> own accord smile and make noises indicating that everything was fine!
> OK, thanks for pointing out that for functionalists (the target audience
> of this paper) I've not been adequately addressing this issue, either here,
> or in the paper.  (working on fixing that)
> So the corollary to
>     "if there is no detectable neural correlate to redness,
>     someone will not be accurately experiencing redness."
> is
>     "You will not be able to accurately believe you are experiencing
> redness, without the neural correlate."
> So, yes, the neural substitution will completely fail.  And if it
> succeeds, I will admit that materialist theories have been falsified.  The
> prediction is that nobody will be able to find a way to present to the
> binding system anything that is not the neural correlate of redness, and
> get a true redness experience.  There are myriads of various possibilities,
> such as, in the inverted quale case, someone will believe they know what
> redness is like, when in reality they are just mistakenly thinking that the
> greenness quale is redness.  Or there is the lying through their teeth,
> example, they know that 1 isn't really redness, nor is the 0 really
> greenness.  They are just knowingly lying when they say: "That is red, and
> I know what it is qualitatively like."  And, the prediction is that
> observation systems like that being used by Gallant will be able to
> objectively detect and prove exactly when all of this type of stuff is
> going on.  So, no, without real glutamate, or without the detectable
> functional isomorph of redness is, whatever is causing them to accurately
> think they are experiencing redness, will not be possible without it.
> Otherwise the theory, which predicts you can't experience redness, without
> the reliably detectable intrinsic functional isomorph of redness, with out
> the real thing, will be falsified, or need to be adjusted.
> There must be something that is is a correct redness experience. When we
> are aware of redness, we are detecting this redness, and we are able to
> distinguish this from greenness.  This must be true, regardless of whether
> the relationship  is functional, material, quantum, or whatever.  And
> whatever the brain is doing to do this detection that redness is
> qualitatively different than greenness, must be objectively discoverable,
> reproducible, mappable, and ultimately effable.
> Brent
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