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A philosophical zombie is someone who strongly insists behaviorally they are conscious even though they don't actually have any conscious experiences at all. How likely is it that you, the reader, are actually a philosophical zombie?

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    This looks like a statement rather than a question.
    – tkruse
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 15:49
  • Very likely -- most people are. We are discouraged in our childhood from developing our humanity, our conscious, rational Self. The pressure is so intense, most kids relinquish control to their subconscious "animal" mind. They stop thinking for themselves. Instead, they begin experiencing thoughts as their subconsciousness is doing the thinking for them. Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 18:41
  • @YuriAlexandrovich you’re making an empirical claim which is not supported by any evidence as far as I know. Moreover P-zombies are not like animals, as it is widely acknowledged that many animals (especially mammals) have qualia. It’s got nothing to do with being self aware or rational. You even refer to these as “experiencing” something which by definition is not possible for P-zombies.
    – Era
    Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 19:29
  • @Era -- you are correct, having qualia does NOT make a human. What makes humans unique, and what p-Zombies is lacking, is having a conscious, rational Self. And it should be easy to tell whether you have it or not. When you have it, you are it, and you think for yourself (as in Descartes' "I think, therefore I am", or Socrates' "To find your Self, you must think yourself"). However, if the person ..... Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 20:03
  • .... when the person is experiencing "thoughts", when they do not have 100% control of their thought process, deciding what to think and when... Well, that means it is their subconsciousness that is doing the thinking for them. And it is making all decisions for them. In that case, the person has a work to do -- they need to wrestle control back from their subconsciousness. And it might not give it up easily -- not because it wants it for itself (it never did in the first place). But it would probably want you to prove yourself worthy of the driver seat. Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 20:19

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I am sure that I am not a philosophical zombie -- I have qualia, there is something it is like to be me. The problem is that that is exactly what a philosophical zombie would say, so it's not clear why my saying that should convince you that I am not a philosophical zombie. Unless you don't believe in philosophical zombies anyway. And the concept of a philosophical zombie does seem problematic, in that I appear to rely on my conscious experiences to make such statements as the above, and it seems unlikely that something without conscious experiences could consistently do the same. (Of course, the concept of a philosophical zombie was not introduced to argue that such things are out there, but rather to clarify some of the relevant concepts, for which it is really useful.)

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  • Again, it's not about qualia. Having qualia does NOT make a human. What makes humans unique, and what p-Zombies are lacking, is having a conscious, rational Self. More in my comments to the question. Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 18:11

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