Re: q*****

Patrick Wilken (
Sun, 12 Dec 1999 11:58:03 +1100

>Look. Suppose I made a copy of you who was a zombie. He acted like you
>in every way, but he had no experiences, no qualia, etc.
>Would he believe he was a zombie? No. He'd be just like you: he'd insist
>that qualia are real, that he is having an undeniable internal experience
>right now, etc. If I asked that zombie "how do you know you're not a
>zombie?" what would he tell me?

Well if you made an identical physical copy how could it be a zombie? The question only arises when you create a functional copy which differs physically, since no-one has assigned a reasonable functional role for qualia.

Of course if we created a functional copy of you that claimed it was conscious we would be hard pressed to say it was not. The problem is that we do not know how to relate the functional and the experiential in a causal manner. Until we do this the issue of the zombie's conscious state cannot be resolved. All you can do is create arguments that intuitively feel right one way or the other. However science has taught us (e.g. QM) that intuitions are useless when it comes to understanding these sorts of fundamental processes in nature.

best, patrick

Patrick Wilken
Editor:        PSYCHE: An International Journal of Research on Consciousness
Board Member:      The Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness