[ExI] Zombie Detector (was Re:Do digital computers feel?)

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Sat Dec 31 23:44:03 UTC 2016


Thank you, the video cleared it up for me then. So do you have no objection
to multiple-realizability (the idea that different physical materials could
in theory be used to construct minds that have identical mental states)?


On Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 4:53 PM, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>

> Hi Jason,
> I'm just talking in simplified qualitative terms to make communication
> easier to model what is and isn't important.  that is the only reason I
> used the term grue to represent all the 99 million or whatever new colors
> that any particular tetrachromat can experience (surely they are not all
> the same).
> Also, when i say that glutamate has the redness quality and glycene has
> the grenness quality, this too, is just simplified.  I am describing what
> it would be like in a hypothetical world that only has 3 colors - red
> (glutamate), green(glycene), and white(aspartate).  (see:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHuqZKxtOf4&t=30s)  I simply describe in
> that video that if there was such a world, how could the people in that
> world correctly see that in their simplified world that glutamate was the
> neural correlate of red (and not think it was white since glutamate
> reflects white light).
> Then once a person can understand how this general correct qualitative
> interpretation theory works in the simplified world, they can use the same
> proper qualitative interpretation of abstracted data, in the real world -
> to finally not be qualia blind and finally discover what really has all the
> redness qualities any one of us can experience.
> Brent
> On Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 3:29 PM, Jason Resch <jasonresch at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 4:15 PM, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> I, like most people, am a mere tetra chromate – I experience the world
>>> with 3 primary colors.  But some people are tetrachromats, and do it
>>> with 4 primary colors.  Let’s call this 4th color “grue”.  Obviously,
>>> all us tri chromats can hear the person say things like: “No that is Grue,
>>> not one of the primary colors, as you claim” and we can observe what is
>>> causing the 4th primary color, including it’s neural correlate in their
>>> brains.  In other words, like Frank Jackson’s brilliant color scientist
>>> raised in a black and what room, us trichromats can learn everything about
>>> grue, and see that it is not in our heads, but we can see when the neurarl
>>> correlate of grue is in the head of a tetrachromat.
>>> In other words, all of us normal trichromatic people are grue zombies.  We
>>> can know and communicate everything about them.  In fact, we might even
>>> be able to be trained to call the right things grue, just like the
>>> tetrachromat does, and lie about it, and convince everyone else that we
>>> might be a tetrachromat.  (until you observe my brain)  So, until we
>>> enhance our primary visual cortext and give it what has the grue color, we
>>> will never know how the tetrachromat qualitatively interprets the word
>>> “grue”.
>>> Now, some people think of a “p-zombie” as something that is atomically
>>> identical to us, but just doesn’t have the qualitative experience of
>>> consciousness – which of course is very absurd, and very different than the
>>> grue type of zombie, I am, who simply isn’t yet capable of producing the
>>> grue neural correlate in my brain.  But I can represent grue with
>>> anything else that is in my brain, and talk about it as if it was grue, in
>>> a grue zombie way.
>> But no new neurotransmitters are required to experience grue.
>> Moreover, tretrachromats don't just see 1 new type of color, they can see
>> 99 million new colors that us trichromats cannot see. This is because we
>> can sense about 100 independent relative brightnesses for red green and
>> blue colors, which allows 100x100x100 possible resulting colors (1 million
>> colors). Tetrachromats get to see 100x100x100x100 or 100 million colors.
>> How can so many new colors come about if the neurocorolates are somehow
>> dependent on specific chemicals in the brain? Tetrachromats don't have 100
>> times as many chemicals in their brain as trichromats have, yet they get to
>> perceive 100 times as many qualia.
>> Jason
>>> On Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 12:30 PM, Jason Resch <jasonresch at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Reminds me a bit of "An Unfortunate Dualist":
>>>> http://themindi.blogspot.com/2007/02/chapter-23-unfortunate-
>>>> dualist.html
>>>> As to your puzzle, if Fred is unable to detect any effects from
>>>> conscious people (including their reflections), then he should not  be able
>>>> to see his own reflection, but then he also shouldn't be able to hear his
>>>> own thoughts either. Which might be your definition of a zombie, making him
>>>> visible, etc. "Russell's reflection". However, Fred's own voice might still
>>>> be heard if Fred's consciousness is an epiphenomenon, but I think
>>>> practically speaking I think epiphenomenalism can be ruled out, together
>>>> with the notion of p-zombies.
>>>> See Daniel Dennett's "The Unimagined Preposterousness of Zombies":
>>>> https://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/dennett/papers/unzombie.htm
>>>> Dennett argues that "when philosophers claim that zombies are
>>>> conceivable, they invariably underestimate the task of conception (or
>>>> imagination), and end up imagining something that violates their own
>>>> definition".[3]
>>>> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_zombie#cite_note-Dennett1991-3>
>>>> [4]
>>>> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_zombie#cite_note-Dennett1995-4> He
>>>> coined the term "zimboes" – p-zombies that have second-order beliefs
>>>> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-order_logic> – to argue that the
>>>> idea of a p-zombie is incoherent;[12]
>>>> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_zombie#cite_note-12> "Zimboes
>>>> thinkZ they are conscious, thinkZ they have qualia, thinkZ they suffer
>>>> pains – they are just 'wrong' (according to this lamentable tradition), in
>>>> ways that neither they nor we could ever discover!".[4]
>>>> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_zombie#cite_note-Dennett1995-4>
>>>> I'm not sure, however, whether your thought experiment sheds any new
>>>> light on the concepts of consciousness or zombies. It seems like it may be
>>>> only a reformulation of the "Barber Paradox", where the self reflexivity is
>>>> a "power to detect only non-consciousness things", aimed at one's own
>>>> consciousness.
>>>> Jason
>>>> On Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 11:13 AM, Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Jason Resch wrote:
>>>>> <Therefore, if the brain is a machine, and is finite, then an
>>>>> appropriately programmed computer can perfectly emulate any of its
>>>>> behaviors. Philosophers generally fall into one os three camps, on the
>>>>> question of consciousness and the computational theory of mind:
>>>>> Non-computable physicists [. . .]Weak AI proponents [. . .]
>>>>> Computationalists.
>>>>> Which camp do you consider yourself in?>
>>>>> -------------------------------------------
>>>>> As a general rule, I prefer not to go camping with philosophers as I
>>>>> prefer the rigor of science and mathematics. But if I must camp in that
>>>>> neck of the woods, I would set up my own camp. I would call it the
>>>>> Godelian camp after Kurt Godel. Since I am a scientist and not a
>>>>> philosopher, I will explain my views with a thought experiment instead
>>>>> of
>>>>> an argument.
>>>>> Imagine if you will a solipsist. Let's call him Fred. Fred is solopsist
>>>>> because he has every reason to believe he lives alone in a world of
>>>>> P-zombies.
>>>>> For the uninitiated, P-zombies are philosophical zombies. Horrid beings
>>>>> that talk, move, and act like normal folks but lack any real
>>>>> consciousness
>>>>> or self-awareness. They just go through the motions of being conscious
>>>>> but
>>>>> are not really so.
>>>>> So ever since Fred could remember, wherever he looked, all he could see
>>>>> were those pesky P-zombies. They were everywhere. He could talk to
>>>>> them,
>>>>> he could interact with them, and he even married one. And because they
>>>>> all
>>>>> act perfectly conscious, they would fool most anyone but certainly not
>>>>> Fred.
>>>>> This was because Fred had, whether you would regard it as a gift or
>>>>> curse,
>>>>> an unusual ability. He could always see and otherwise sense P-zombies
>>>>> but
>>>>> never normal folk. Normal folk were always invisible to him and he
>>>>> never
>>>>> could sense a single one. So he, being a perfect P-zombie detector,
>>>>> came
>>>>> to believe that he was the only normal person on a planet populated by
>>>>> P-zombies.
>>>>> Then one day by chance he happened to glance in a mirror . . .
>>>>> Does he see himself?
>>>>> I want to hear what the list has to say about this before I give my
>>>>> answer
>>>>> and my interpretation of what this means for strong AI and the
>>>>> computational theory of mind.
>>>>> Stuart LaForge
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