[ExI] Zombie glutamate

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Thu Feb 19 14:00:36 UTC 2015

On Thursday, February 19, 2015, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com
<javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','brent.allsop at canonizer.com');>> wrote:

> Hi Stathis,
> It feels to me that the entire paper has come together, in a very
> compelling way, except for the section at the end where I attempt to
> address the neural substitution argument.  I have a real hard time getting
> my head arround the way a functionalist thinks.  I know a bunch of the
> stuff I end up saying is completely useless, and I know I can say the right
> thing, but I just don't know how to put it in a way that will be
> understood, as best as possible, to a functionalist.

Brent, I reread the paper and I have to say, whatever you've done to
it, the latest version of it is much clearer. Good luck with the
presentation at the conference.

> The current section on the neural substitution argument at the end is just
> a loose collection of ideas I'm tyring to put together.  I wonder if you
> could provide some feedback on if any of that is good, or a complete waste,
> and so on.
> And can I get you, or anyone, to state the issue you have, in general,
> with the idea of the paper.
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Vxfbgfm8XIqkmC5Vus7wBb982JMOA8XMrTZQ4smkiyI/edit
> Thanks,
> Brent Allsop

I feel that the ideas expressed in the paper about effing the ineffable are
not directly related to the question of whether functionalism is correct.
I'm not sure why you want to include the section of neural substitution in
the same paper.

I also feel that you have missed the point of the neural substitution
argument (or Chalmers' statement of it). I would suggest that you try
thinking about the replacement in the first instance by forgetting about
consciousness, zombies or information and considering only the mechanics of
the system. To an alien scientist, a brain may be just a system of
interacting organic parts. If he replaces glutamate with a functional
analogue, all he is concerned about is that it have the same effect on
glutamate receptors. If it does, then the subject will say "I see red, same
as before". He MUST say this, because he said it with natural glutamate,
and the glutamate substitute is performing the same role. Forgetting
completely about qualia, zombies and so on for the moment and thinking only
about chemistry, do you see that this must be so?

Stathis Papaioannou
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20150220/c64743da/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list