At 06:33 PM 18/06/99 -0700, Hal wrote:
>Now I am speculating a bit, but I believe that Eliezer's position
>is that qualia are not a crucial and necessary aspect of the mental
>structure of a successful organism. It should be entirely possible
>for intelligent beings to evolve and succeed without qualia, because
>all that is really necessary is the ability to model the environment,
>extrapolate possible events, come up with plans, and so on, all of which
>seem to be computational tasks (hence not requiring qualia).
My 2 A-cents, from THE LKAST MORTAL GENERATION, chap. 4:
What is it, then? Information, he concludes. Not an answer to give the faithful any comfort, admittedly. Chalmers believes a complex artificial intelligence system would be conscious. So he is not proposing to reinstate an immaterial soul. He puts it neatly: `Experience is information from the inside; physics is information from the outside.' Inside what, though? Inside the mind, with the qualia. But that leaves us where we came in. Besides, I would argue that we cannot truly imagine a zombie world, any more than we can truly imagine a world exactly like ours, full of jittering molecules but without heat. Stewart and Cohen provide an amusing analogy to support this suspicion. Imagine a *zombike*, they suggest, `which is *exactly like a bicycle in every way* except that it does not move when the pedals are pushed. Oh, mystic miracle of ineffable immateriality, the source of motion in a bicycle is not anything physical!'29 The zombie analogy, at root, is no more persuasive nor even intelligible.