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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. ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 18.2k
37 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 ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 5,639
29 votes

Is this a statistical argument for reincarnation being almost inevitable?

The specific statistical error you're probably intuiting is that your sample is not representative. Even if you are non-existent for a million years, and existent only for a day, there's a 100% ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 30.3k
24 votes

Does the "gradual brain replacement" thought experiment prove consciousness is independent of substrate?

No thought problem provides a proof, as the thought problem has embedded assumptions which are not challenged by an actual test, where the assumptions might not hold. The explicit assumption that is ...
Dcleve's user avatar
  • 14.5k
23 votes

Is Alzheimer’s disease evidence for the non-existence of the soul?

Alzheimer's disease (and other brain disorders with some observable physical effect along with psychology and neuroscience generally) does seem to make the existence of an immaterial soul much less ...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
  • 10.9k
22 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 ...
Hypnosifl's user avatar
  • 2,867
22 votes

Is Alzheimer’s disease evidence for the non-existence of the soul?

No, not really, the disease is just evidence for the corruption of the region of the brain that houses memory due to aging. It is just evidence for the degeneration of the human body and consecutively ...
How why e's user avatar
  • 1,351
21 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 ...
Guy Inchbald's user avatar
  • 2,582
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 ...
RodolfoAP's user avatar
  • 7,661
19 votes

Does a rock falling down a hill perform computation?

I think your example is overly complex for the question you are asking. Consider instead a pachinko-like device with a slot at the top, and 4 slots or holes at the bottom. In between the top and the ...
JimmyJames's user avatar
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 ...
Guest's user avatar
  • 179
16 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Nat's user avatar
  • 1,995
15 votes

Should the evidence of OBEs and NDEs increase our epistemic probability of non-physicalist views of consciousness?

Near death experiences seem to largely be culturally and theologically neutral, and when they'renot they match the beliefs of the person having them, which suggests to me it's an entirely ...
TKoL's user avatar
  • 3,463
15 votes

Does the "gradual brain replacement" thought experiment prove consciousness is independent of substrate?

This appears to be a rephrasing of Chalmers' "Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia" (1996) paper. Given your 12.5K score on Philosophy Stack Exchange, I presume you are familiar with ...
nir's user avatar
  • 4,930
14 votes

Does a rock falling down a hill perform computation?

Computation is a deliberate mapping of inputs to outputs according to a finite list of specific instructions. An accidental process cannot be computation. A process with infinite or unknowable ...
g s's user avatar
  • 6,237
14 votes

Is consciousness causally superfluous?

For me, the strongest argument for consciousness causing physical effects is our ability to make statements about our consciousness. If I move my mouth to say "I have a mind that experiences ...
Kaia's user avatar
  • 273
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, ...
Ask About Monica's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

How meaningful is the notion of now here on Earth?

Special relativity has no bearing whatsoever on your day to day activities. If you are moving relative to someone else, then yes in theory you will be time dilated in their frame of reference and they ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 23.5k
13 votes

Who am I? Mind, body, mind and body or something else?

You are ACCORDING TO : law A civilian. society Mainly your job. politics A vote. your partner Ask them. psychology A vulnerable human being, trying to cope with reality. intellectually Someone trying ...
Ioannis Paizis's user avatar
12 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 ...
user287279's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Is it possible that non-living systems possess consciousness?

I think the jury is still out on this one -- if you could answer it definitively that would be a huge discovery. The challenge is that we don't have a good theory of consciousness yet. There are ...
Annika's user avatar
  • 1,681
12 votes

Does the "gradual brain replacement" thought experiment prove consciousness is independent of substrate?

Neurons are examples of nanites themselves. They are tiny physical entities obeying the laws of physics. If the subject should report any weird sensations, you would have to conclude that your nanites ...
Niels Holst's user avatar
11 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 ...
armand's user avatar
  • 6,703
10 votes

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

As I see it, Searle is getting at the point that syntax is algorithmic — a system driven by predefined rules and procedures — but semantics is (as far as we can tell) not. In other words, it's easy ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 20.4k
9 votes
Accepted

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'...
Alexander S King's user avatar
9 votes

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

Short Answer There's a number of positions outlined in your SEP link to Searle's Room that make clear that philosophy has not decided by consensus one way or another the question of human and semantic ...
J D's user avatar
  • 28.2k
9 votes

Should the evidence of OBEs and NDEs increase our epistemic probability of non-physicalist views of consciousness?

I'll go ahead and say it. Yes, reports of out of body experiences and near death experiences make non-physicalist views of consciousness more likely than they otherwise would be. However this does not ...
causative's user avatar
  • 14.3k
9 votes

Can one be cruel to nonsentient things?

One conceivable scenario is akin to the impossibility defense in law: Are you guilty of a crime if you are trying to murder an already dead body, convinced they are alive? After all, this is factually ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
8 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 ...
Alexander S King's user avatar

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