36

The famous version of this is Twin Earth thought experiment, which explores two worlds which are identical, except one has no H2O. The H2O in this world is instead replaced with a substance XYZ. Denizens of both worlds call their substance "water." This thought experiment has countless arguments made on both sides. Your particular argument presupposes ...


17

First this conflates the whole of philosophy with rational psychology, and second, psychology, conducted at the level of detail of neuroscience would be totally intractable. Let me address the second issue first. We keep the field of biology, despite knowing that physiology and genetic competition are really all about chemistry. In fact we create an extra ...


16

The key phrase is exactly like is in all physical respects. Physicalism states that if X and Y are physically identical, X and Y are identical. It doesn't matter for the argument that it happens to be zombies or has something to do with consciousness; it just states: imagine that X and Y are physically identical but X and Y are not identical. Of course we ...


14

This illustrates how removed the concept of 'philosophical zombie' is from reality. The mirror image does not have a brain; it is a trick of light. It is no more a 'zombie' than a photo, a drawing, or a terse sentence in a bad novel. More specifically; the concept of a philosophical zombie is that there can exist something in principle indistinguishable ...


13

These are all terms that one frequently reads in texts on Cognitive Science. I will try to find some exemplary definitions: Consciousness: Many philosophers have argued that consciousness is a unitary concept that is understood intuitively by the majority of people in spite of the difficulty in defining it. Others, though, have argued that the level of ...


12

If you mean consciousnesses as the existence of subjective experience ("Qualia"), then there's probably no way to distinguish between an entity with qualia, and an entity with out one. Even when we consider adult, healthy people, we can't know "if there's somebody in there". The term p-zombie is used to describe (hypothetical) entities that don't have ...


12

In short, no. At least not under any falsifiable definition of an organism. When biologists refer to a superorganism or an extended phenotype, they aren't referring to a form of life, but the capacity of a species to propagate themselves. Human systems fail the sniff test for life as well. Societies and organizations cannot replicate themselves by way of ...


12

It certainly seems plausible to claim that we occasionally behave like p-zombies. However, philosophers such as Daniel Dennett and Susan Blackmore have taken the claim one step further, arguing that everybody is always a p-zombie. How exactly do they pull this off? Well, they simply deny that consciousness exists at all! They say that what we think is ...


11

I feel like I'm missing something in the question. I think you're asking: "Is it possible for a sentence to be true, even if nobody believes it?" If that's not right, let me know and I'll try again. There are a variety of theories of truth, and they would offer different answers to the question you've posed. Let me mention just three such views: The ...


11

Where is there a detectable difference? If you can't find one, there is nothing here but misleading language. The twins could never identify PB and PR, they would have no words to describe the difference until they had already learned to compensate for it. They could not know it existed. And this is perfectly consonant with existing materialist views of ...


10

It's not entirely clear to me where you're having difficulty but I will attempt to go over the thought experiment and provide some clarity. Note that this experiment depends on monism (e.g. physicalism) unless the teletransporter can copy "non-substance" as well. So the assumption is that everything that makes you you is based on the physical location of ...


10

My friend, you stopped where things get really interesting. The result of the process you described is a human consciousness whose substratum is a computer program instead of a bodily organ. Much more importantly, you did the transformation in a way that preserved what I call the continuity of consciousness. Let's assume that this computer program is ...


10

Within those who stipulate there is a God, I've seen 2 major approaches to this question: 1) Logic is subservient to God. If God, or one of his representatives says something or behaves a certain way, then it becomes de facto logical, even if it does not follow from normal rules of logic. (My opinion, for what it's worth, is this often leads to "logic" ...


9

I will answer this question with Kant's own words taken from (my personal favorite of his works) The Critique of the Power of Judgment. Specifically, I will be citing the Cambridge University Press 2nd Edition, edited by Paul Guyer and translated by Paul Guyer and Eric Matthews. Please decide for yourself what you think Kant would think of Darwinian ...


9

James was not the first one to realize that central "I" or "consciousness" as an entity is not in any way helpful in explaining the will, or any other mental faculties. It is just a homunculus in the head that moves all the problems along, with no explanatory power, and potential for infinite regress: what is the central "I" of the central "I"? The only ...


8

Only a partial list, but here are a few traits that lead people to believe X is conscious. Note that none of these are "necessary" traits, they're certainly not "sufficient", and all of these traits lie on a continuum (they can't be reduced to checkboxes). Also note that these are traits that lead people to believe X is conscious, not traits that make X ...


8

Approach 1 - (4) is false. One line of reasoning has already been presented. (4). The person in the mirror looks and behaves like a conscious, qualia possessing human: you. This is false, because the person in the mirror simply reflects the behavior of something else, which is not the behavior of a conscious human, but that of a reflection. Approach 2 -...


8

Will computers ever have consciousness? Depends on who you ask. 3 possible responses: Consciousness and the mind are non physical phenomena, and computers are physical systems so, no, computers can't be conscious since they lack the non-physical component. The idea that consciousness is non-physical is called (mind-body) Dualism. Consciousness is a ...


8

Mind continuous with environment There is a considerable body of literature on 'the extended mind'. David Chalmers and Andy Clark are major names here. The basic idea is that 'the mind "extends" into the environment in cases in which a human organism and the environment become cognitively coupled systems' (Erik Myin, 'Unbounding the Mind', ' The Extended ...


7

There is an enormous philosophical literature on the question of identity, and the canonical thought experiment is the Ship of Theseus. Suffice it to say that you'll find a wide range of opinions on this matter over the past couple millenia of philosophical thought, but you'll find very few people willing to argue that you are exactly the same as you were a ...


7

Various branches of cognitive science (psychophysics especially, but not only) have demonstrated that we can be profoundly misled in our subjective interpretation of an experience. One of the most profound: when you look around, it seems as though you're seeing things the whole time. You're not. The visual stream is effectively blanked during a saccade ...


7

Arthur Eddington's "The Nature of the Physical World" as reprinted and edited in "Quantum Physics and Ultimate Reality; Mystical Writings of Great Physicists" editor Michael Green and "What is Life?: with 'Mind and Matter'" by Erwin Schroedinger


7

If we apply Russell’s theory of (definite) descriptions (“On Denoting” 1905) to the sentence “God is subject to logic”, it can be analysed into a conjunction of the following three: there is an x such that x is the creator of the universe: ∃x[CU(x)] for any x and y, if x is the creator of the universe and y is the creator of the universe, then x=y (i.e. ...


7

Under a strict, philosophical, reading of the quote, Dr. Tyson isn't making much sense; interpreting "science" as "the methodology of science" or "the social endeavor of science" this sentence is a non-sequitur. Even if you are inclined to cut him some slack and interpret science more along the lines of "the findings that science produces", then Dr. Tyson ...


7

"19th century philosophers are not necessary to understand contemporary debates" is largely true because modern debates regurgitate ideas and arguments explored at length since Kant. Here is an example of Searle arguably replaying an argument already discussed by Kant, see What are the problems with the argument for the mind-body dualism from immateriality ...


7

You are plainly familiar with major players. For a conspectus you might try : Susan Blackmore, Consciousness A Very Short Introduction, ISBN 10: 0198794738 / ISBN 13: 9780198794738 Published by OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2018. To go deeper, as you obviously will want to : Uriah Kriegel, The Varieties of Consciousness, ISBN 10: 0190945982 / ISBN 13: ...


6

While the term consciousness can have a range of specific and complex meanings in philosophy, I'm afraid in this case simply means awareness. The anthropic principle as stated in the question uses one of the most basic relations in deductive reasoning: We are observing the physical universe. In order to observe the physical universe, we must be aware (...


6

But minds also think, and this is a private activity What's more, Wittgenstein makes this argument explicitly with his "Beetle Box" thought experiment (in the Philosophical Investigations.) And, what's more, he also shows that much thought is not of a propositional nature, and does not work well with traditional notions of epistemology; one cannot be ...


6

Richard Feynman summarized modern science with this statement: In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare ...


6

There are two things written by Kant that pretty much answer your question: First, the famous quote “Two things inspire me to awe: the starry heavens above and the moral universe within” seems to indicate that Kant would put the beauty of the Universe on par with the beauty of the "unity of human consciousness". Second, Kant was the first philosopher who ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible