Re: q*****

Dan Fabulich (
Sat, 11 Dec 1999 21:54:46 -0500 (EST)

'What is your name?' 'Zeb Haradon.' 'IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS!!!':

> This is the problem. A zombie (which presumably does not - and cannot -
> exist) is a hypothetical construct to point out why consciousness is so
> difficult.
> A more accurate question - if you were the zombie and someone asked you how
> you knew you were not a zombie, how would you know? Well, you wouldn't be
> experiencing anything, there would be no "you" to know or not know. If you
> were not a zombie how would you know? If you heard the questioner's words,
> felt yourself considering it, or experienced any step along the way, you
> would know that you're not.

This is no help. Surely the zombie would "believe" that he was experiencing things, that he was hearing the questioner, that he felt himself considering the question, etc. Though I put the word "believe" in quotes, since I'm using it in the functionalist sense of the term. (Indeed, if I'm right, that's the only sense with any meaning.)

Your answer amounts to, "well, it would feel different if I were a zombie, that is, it wouldn't feel like anything at all!" but if you were a zombie, you would think/say exactly that! Sure, you can CLAIM that you have an inner life, but you may be decieved in exactly the same way a zombie would be deceived.

If you think that if "you" were a zombie, there would be no "you," then I think the "you" you're referring to doesn't exist. When I say "you," I mean that thing sitting in front of a monitor reading this. Whether that thing has qualia or not is therefore up for grabs.


-unless you love someone-
-nothing else makes any sense-

e.e. cummings