[ExI] dualism

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Tue Apr 4 12:29:38 UTC 2023

On Tue, Apr 4, 2023 at 12:47 AM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Yay, someone besides me is wondering what others believe.  Thanks Jason
> and William.  That is why we built canonizer in the first place, so we
> could track this, in real time.
> From what I can see, Most people here are still in the popular consensus functionalist
> camp
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Theories-of-Consciousness/8-Functional-Prprty-Dualism>.
> (I'm ccing Stathis, who is the only one of you many functionalists willing
> to support that camp) Functionalists, like substance dualists
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Theories-of-Consciousness/48-Substance-Dualism>,
> separate things like color qualities from physical reality.  Functionalists
> predict that qualities, of which consciousness is composed merely
> 'supervene' on physical reality, or that redness 'arises' from 1s and 0s,
> in some magical physical substrate independent way that is not
> approachable via science.  Stathis, this is all true, right?  Do you (or
> any other functionalists brave enough to admit it) admit you are a dualist
> in this way, and that qualities or consciousness are independent of any
> physical substrate?
> Physicalists
> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Theories-of-Consciousness/7-Qualia-are-Physical-Qualities> like
> me, on the other hand, are not dualists.  Although we are still in the
> minority at that lower level, despite the fact that most of you
> functionalists are not willing to give any support to any functionalist
> camp.
> Wouldn't it be great if we did know who all currently believed what!!

The structure of the way you have ordered camps does not make sense to me.
I no longer see a functional camp anywhere in the tree, as I recall there
used to be one.

I found an archived version here which includes functionalism:

But it is placed under Mind-Brain Identity. I don't think functionalists
consider themselves mind-brain identity theorists, since multiple
realizability as implied by functionalism disproves the 1:1: mapping
between mind states and brain states, and thus is a rejection of mind-brain
identity. Functionalism implies a 1-to-many relationship between mind
states and brain states.

While we can choose which camp to subscribe to, we do not control the
description of the camp, nor its place in the hierarchical organization, do
we? Can others change that?

> Seems to me, most everyone here is too afraid to declare what they
> currently believe.  Evidently they just want to continue to bleat and tweet
> what they believe, in half backed never improving ways, eternally.

I think nuances of difference between everyone's beliefs makes it quite
difficult to exactly quantify people's positions. For example, consider all
the various famous thought experiments. It might be easier and also more
revealing to conduct a poll for each of the famous thought experiments, for

1. The Fading Qualia Experiment: A) Qualia Suddenly Disappear, B) Qualia
Gradually Fade, C) Qualia Remain Unchanged

2. The Chinese Room Experiment: A) Nothing in the room understands Chinese
B) Something in the room (or the room itself) understands Chinese

3. The Mary's Room Experiment: A) Mary learns something new when she sees
red for the first time, B) Mary does not learn anything new when she sees
red for the first time

4. The Being a Bat Experiment: A) It is impossible to know anything about
what it is like to be a bat if you are not a bat, B) Some things, but not
everything, can be known about what it is like to be a bat, C) It is
possible to know exactly what it is like to be a bat while not being a bat

5. The China Brain Experiment: A) The china brain is not conscious, B) The
china brain is conscious

6. The Inverted Spectrum Experiment: A) It is logically possible that color
qualia could have been inverted without changing anything about the brain,
B)  It is not logically possible that color qualia could have been inverted
without changing anything about the brain

7. The Blockhead Lookup Table Experiment: A) The lookup table is conscious,
B) The lookup table is not conscious but its construction likely involved
invoking consciousness, C) No consciousness exists in the look up table or
in the process of its creation.

8. The Blindsight Experiment: A) People can see without the qualia of
sight, B) Something in their brain sees, even if the part of the brain that
talks is not aware of it

9. The Lucas-Penrose Argument: A) Only people can infer mathematical
truths, B) Machines (appropriately designed) can infer mathematical truths

10. Philosophical Zombie Consistency: A) Philosophical zombies are
nomologically possible, B) Philosophical zombies are logically possible but
not nomologically possible, C) Philosophical Zombies are not logically

Now would two people who agree on 9 out of 10 of these questions fall into
the same camp? Or could two people in the same camp validly disagree on one
of the above questions?

I think if you answered the above questions for yourself, it would help me
greatly understand your position and your camp.

I will make an attempt to go first:
1. C
2. B
3. A
4. B
5. B
6. B
7. B
8. B
9. B
10. C

> On Mon, Apr 3, 2023 at 7:34 PM William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> Jason, I think, wondered how many of us were dualists.  I wonder too.
>> Are you?  I am not.   bill w
>> _______________________________________________
I would say that computationalism (digital mechanism/functionalism)
explains the most about ourselves and our universe.

My post was not an attempt to identify dualists, but rather, to show that
computationalism implies the existence of something that many religions
might call a soul, as it makes the conscious mind something that shares
many of the properties often attributed to souls. This, however, is not a
justification of Descartes's interactionist dualism, as computationalism
can exist within a system of simple inviolable laws while interactionist
dualism cannot.

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