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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 ...


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

The answer is controversial. Hume, 18th century British philosopher, famously argued that such a possibility is conceivable, that if we are presented with a spectrum of color where some intermediate shade is missing we will be able to imagine the missing shade, even if we never saw it before. Here is Hume's missing shade of blue thought experiment: "...


6

Mary's room is persuasive to people who don't know the difference between declarative knowledge and other kinds. If the super-scientist Mary studies but does not play tennis, and then you finally give her a tennis racket, guess what? She will not be competitive with top tennis players, since sports involve a large amount of procedural knowledge. This ...


6

What you're talking about is called "cognitive phenomenology," i.e. what it is like to experience a certain kind of cognitive state like knowing, or believing, or understanding, or doubting. Some people don't think there is such a thing, others do. I don't know this literature very well, but there is a recent (2012) collection of papers on the topic that ...


5

I don't think there is any "reasonable expectation" in principle, just a lot of arbitrary choices. Privacy-seeking is a non-rational behavior that provides certain advantages in various social situations. It can provide protection from disease, allow behavior that is individually beneficial but not desired by the alpha individual, and so on. If you ask ...


5

I think it will be well to distinguish between (a) qualitative experience, (b) qualia, and (c) the given. I doubt that anyone denies qualitative experience. Sellars, anyway, did not. It seems to be a pre- philosophical fact, not a matter of controversy. In “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man” (PSIM) Sellars contrasts the scientific world image with ...


5

I think you can resolve most such potential contradictions by changing the wording around. In some systems, you may say it is "consciousness sharing." However, if that is a contradiction in that system, then it should be valid to think of there being only one "consciousness," which has a highly unique topology. There could be contradictions if one starts ...


5

I think the sticking point here is, as you point out, the immediateness of qualia. But that's not actually taken for granted in the literature. In the physicalism vs. anti-materialism debate in philosophy of mind, there's a proposal called the Qualitative Inaccuracy Hypothesis (QI), essentially that we are mistaken about our own qualia (for example, we're ...


4

Frank, you made a good observation about the similarities between traditional qualia and the flow of time. As I understand it, anything that we experience has all of the necessary properties of a quale. Since we experience the flow of time, surely we can find things that are similar in this experience to other quale, surely with it the problems that come up ...


4

There's no inconsistency between the reality of qualia and materialism unless one has an excessively reductive conception of "the physical" -- using things like Locke's inverted spectrum and "Is your red the same as my red?" to try and prove the mind has its own special reality (i.e, with its own special laws unrelated to the physical) is this kind of ...


4

Jackson does not claim that for Mary "the entirety of physical knowledge is a priori", but rather that Mary is "forced to investigate the world from a black and white room". Here is how Jackson describes Mary: Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white ...


4

One of the basic arguments is the argument from knowledge, it is similar in spirit to Frege's argument for distinguishing sense and reference. "Hesperus is Hesperus" tells us nothing interesting, "Hesperus is Phosphorus" conveys something non-trivial, a new knowledge. Therefore, there is something to the word over and above its referent, the sense, because ...


4

Your argument has a very straight forward resolution: statements 4 and 5 together are sufficient to prove that "the person in the mirror is a p-zombie." Those two statements form the definition of a p-zombie. That's the easy part. The hard part is your justification of those statements. In particular, how do you justify 5. If you assume it to be true ...


4

To make this a mind-body model, we need the representations for the mind and the body to be accessible to the observers. So we have to assume that the computers have both the logic gate descriptions, and the high level code accessible to them ("observable"). What they do not have, before the Creator comes along, is the ability to trace one to the other. The ...


3

For monists, such as Plotinus or Spinoza, they are but different versions of the same essence. Plotinus for example would hold the res extensa to be "gross spirit", and the res cogitans to be "rarefied matter". In other words, both would spiritual/material, just on a spectrum. For Spinoza too, they are simply different descriptions of the same thing: God. ...


3

In all religions what ever existed there are soul and God Hinduism doesn't have 'God'; it does have Brahman, which is sometimes identified with it; since in this sense it is a monotheistic aspect of Hinduism, as for example exemplified in the Upanishads; but this doesn't mean the same thing. For example the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity as a description ...


3

A brief philosophical analysis of the present moment is given by H.Bergson in Matter and Memory. He tried to prove that the infinitesimally small time moment of our internal life is rather an ideal construct, which does not correspond to the present that we experience. His objective was to demonstrate that the present is indivisibly entangled with the past ...


3

In physics it's called Planck Time. It is theoretically the smallest possible measurement of time, since no change could possibly be observed beyond this measure. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_time However when it comes to length? Well, zoom in on the graph of a function, call it f(x), you could zoom in forever and never find a point where you couldn'...


3

From the SEP Feelings and experiences vary widely. For example, I run my fingers over sandpaper, smell a skunk, feel a sharp pain in my finger, seem to see bright purple, become extremely angry. In each of these cases, I am the subject of a mental state with a very distinctive subjective character. There is something it is like for me to undergo each ...


3

The fast answer is, "the being's ability to recognize itself in a mirror." There are a handful of animals that can do this (Elephants, Dolphins, and some primates). The most common way to test whether an animal apprehends that its reflection is an image of itself, is to mark the animal and observe whether it attempts to remove the mark when it sees the mark ...


3

I think you've unwittingly asked two different questions with two different answers. I'll explain, but first, let's talk definitions. "Qualia" is a technical term, so you'd think it'd have a clear, agreed-upon definition (that's usually the point of technical terminology). Unfortunately, it's actually used to mean several slightly different things. The ...


3

Stephen Jay Gould has an interesting article on twins - Living With Connections - in his book The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural History. He concludes the article with the following observation: With vastly greater rarity, the dividing cells of a fertilized egg begin to separate into two groups, but do not complete the process--and conjoined (or ...


3

The definition of qualia is strong, but there have been questions as to whether it is strong enough to draw a line between functionalists and dualists or not. Personally, I believe the only reason why functionalists have any problem with qualia is the cases where they overstep and state something like "I can explain what you think 'red' is." Functionalism ...


3

For those that hold that qualia exist, the problem it poses is that of one hand being something whose existence is certain, and the other hand being something that can't submit to any empirical (and therefore scientific) analysis. Qualia are non-amenable to empirical investigation because a scientist can never adopt the first person perspective of ...


3

Yes, you can imagine new "colors", and there are physically meaningful complex colors that humans don't really see. Short version We see with our eyes, and those signals go back to our brains. We ascribe "color" to things that we see as colors are common patterns worth noting and exploiting, e.g. for communication. Since this question is about imagining ...


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