Re: q***** [that is, "qualia"]

Kate Riley (
Tue, 14 Dec 1999 23:15:14 EST

At 10:21 PM 12/14/99 -0500, you wrote:
>>Is "now" a qualium? Can a zombie experience "time" ("duration", not
>>mere metrical numeration)?
>A zombie can't Experience anything, though he could refer to "now" just
>by saying it or 'thinking' it.

Since you have said that we are all zombies, Mr. Fabulich, this would mean that you also believe that we do not Experience anything. This ultimately would seem to be very much akin to the question of whether or not anything exists, in the sense that both questions may, at least informally, be answered in the same manner. Perhaps you're familiar with the story. I forget the names, but let's call them Philosopher A and Philosopher B. Philosopher A is going on at length about how nothing actually exists. Philosopher B throws a rock at his head.

Apocryphal, sure. The point is that ultimately there comes a point where it is silly (read: renders no or negative utility) to doubt certain things. Or rather, to allow such doubt to hinder either one's decision-making process or one's logical argumentation. Do you doubt that the car that is speeding towards you is actually there? That's fine, as long as you step out of the way of that oncoming "non-existent" car. In the same token, there are inevitable base assumptions which must be made before any philosophy becomes meaningful: first principles, immediate knowledge, etc.. These things arise from experience. Without the experience, there /is/ no basis upon which other arguments may be built. It is possible that there is no experience, as it is possible that nothing exists. However, in a forum for non-existential philosophy, either these doubts must be rendered meaningless, or eveything else. I chose the doubts, so that I may use my experiences as valid philosophical tools.

Kathryn Riley

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