Re: q***** (and incorrigibility)

Dan Fabulich (
Sun, 12 Dec 1999 21:16:42 -0500 (EST)

'What is your name?' 'Damien Broderick.' 'Well, in THAT case...':

> Uh huh.
> Under a certain pressure from empirical investigation, I think, `think' and
> Think that this sort of distinction just folds up.

Ah, the venerable "aw, come on!" response. When the going gets tough, the tough get satirical. Dennett has a great line on this in Quining Qualia:

"Today, no biologist would dream of supposing that it was quite all right to appeal to some innocent concept of elan vital. [...] What are qualia, *exactly*? This obstreperous query is dismissed by one author ("only half in jest") by invoking Louis Armstrong's legendary reply when asked what jazz was: "If you got to ask, you ain't never gonna get to know." (Block, 1978, p.281) This amusing tactic perfectly illustrates the presumption that is my target. If I succeed in my task [of showing that qualia do not exist], this move, which passes muster in most circles today, will look as quaint and insupportable as a jocular appeal to the ludicrousness of a living thing--a living thing, mind you!--doubting the existence of elan vital."

> But I know that if stem cells were injected into my brain, and tweaked just
> right to grow back some relevant cortex, and I was trained to use it, it's
> possible that depth would abruptly `pop out' for me. I'd have new qualia
> that are inconceivable to me right now, strictly speaking. Does that make
> me a partial zombie? Not. (But then I'd say that, wouldn't I? Throw stones
> at the zombie, he can't duck!)

And this shows you have qualia... how? I'm saying we're ALL "zombies," that NONE of us have ANY qualia. You're no half zombie, you're 100% FULL zombie, just like me.


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

e.e. cummings