39 votes
Accepted

How do materialists respond to the thought experiment of the perception of blue and red colors being swapped?

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. ...
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32 votes

Why is it impossible for a program or AI to have semantic understanding?

There is a blatant problem with Searle’s argument and it’s quite hard to understand why it hasn’t been pointed out before: None of Mr. Searle’s brain cells understands English, yet he claims that he ...
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  • 4,130
21 votes

Is it the job of physics to explain consciousness?

The concepts on your question are largely biased. Physics describes, does not explain. See below. Since it's the job of physics to explain everything in the universe (even indirectly) False. The ...
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  • 4,387
21 votes
Accepted

Why is it impossible for a program or AI to have semantic understanding?

I find it odd that his main argument for why programs could not think was that because programs could only follow syntax rules but could not associate any understanding or semantics to words( or any ...
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  • 2,772
20 votes

What is hard about the “hard problem of consciousness”?

What matters is not the fact that the experience is subjective per se, what matters is that there is no way to share the quality or quale of that subjective experience with anybody else. If you see a ...
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  • 2,357
17 votes

Is it the job of physics to explain consciousness?

As a biologist working in neuroscience with many physicists, I used to get this question a lot. Many physicists seem to believe that prime principles + computational power = infinite explanatory power ...
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  • 179
16 votes
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What makes things real?

tl;dr- Depends on a person's level of mental development. The truth's crazy complicated, but we go through stages of understanding. Stage 1: Realism. The simplest way to understand reality is ...
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  • 1,880
13 votes

Is the person in the mirror an example of a philosophical zombie?

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, ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Are pursuing the well-being and reducing the suffering of sentient beings objectively good things?

In the proposition IX, part III of Ethics, Spinoza operates the following reversal of concepts: it is not because we judge that something is good that we desire that thing, but it is because we desire ...
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  • 2,895
11 votes

Is God subject to logic?

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,...
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11 votes

What is hard about the “hard problem of consciousness”?

Q: … He phrased the hard problem as “why objective, mechanical processing can give rise to subjective experiences.” I find it difficult to think of this as hard. … ... Then, it seems like this task ...
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9 votes

How can a stream of thoughts and perceptions have freewill?

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 ...
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9 votes

Will computers ever have consciousness?

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'...
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8 votes

Is the person in the mirror an example of a philosophical zombie?

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 ...
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  • 244
8 votes
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Is there any literature discussing whether all conscious entities are separate, discrete experiencers or a single experiencer?

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 ...
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8 votes

Why should I care about the person who will wake up in my bed tomorrow?

This question raises a lot of interesting problems about the continuity of self and consciousness, but I think it can be cut down with a very pragmatic, down to earth approach. Quite simply, the idea ...
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  • 2,895
7 votes
Accepted

What good books are there on the mind–body problem?

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 ...
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7 votes

Does truth not require belief?

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 ...
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  • 5,118
7 votes

How can consciousness be an illusion?

Based on the little information in the freely accessible part of the article, it looks like the author is referring to bundle theories of the self. The illusion in question isn't that we are conscious ...
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7 votes
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What are book recommendations on Philosophy of Consciousness by contemporary authors?

"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 ...
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7 votes

Is consciousness information?

The problem with the idea that consciousness lasts forever because information is preserved is in the fact that information is being used in two different senses in your question. The differences lie ...
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7 votes

What is time for Bergson? And how is it different from duration?

Time, for Bergson, is not different from duration. On the contrary, Bergson's view is that time is duration. Explanation: Bergson uses the word "time" like all of us do. That is, he uses the word "...
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  • 7,191
7 votes

Does consciousness exist?

There is a kind of epistemological ‘duality’ to our thinking about consciousness. In 'The Puzzle of Conscious Experience', the philosopher David Chalmers describes the 'Easy Problem of Consciousness' ...
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  • 2,669
7 votes
Accepted

Can science account for consciousness

Question: “Can science account for consciousness?” I don’t think everyone currently agrees on the answer, but personally, I believe it can. The future will tell. Question: “I'm just interested what ...
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6 votes

Is there a way to prove if something is self-aware?

Its the Turing Test put into first-person narrative form of a philosophical zombie (a golem would do just as well, and perhaps better, as it figured in the pre-history of imaginative literature and ...
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6 votes

Trouble understanding Chomsky's answers on the free will question

I think his main point in the interview in question is that the "decision" to pick up the cup isn't really the sort of free will most people mean or care about. It's kind of a straw man version where ...
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