RE: zombies

From: Higgo James <>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 09:43:02 +0100

>From another list:"And the human brain is the pinnacle
of both models, an extended mind."

Hmm... if the self-sampling assumption (SSA) is correct we should find our
intelligence, consciousness, awareness, to be roughly half way between that
of a virus and that of the most intelligent beings in the universe.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eric Hardison []
> Sent: Saturday, October 09, 1999 1:36 AM
> To:
> Subject: zombies
> Jim Humphreys wrote:
> >Hello Ed. Good to hear from you again. Its some time since you
> >put forward the idea of God as a Dennetian zombie, so perhaps you could
> >outline the thinking behind this again.
> Was it not John Searle over at Berkeley who proposed
> the "zombie" idea? Dennett is a functionalist, is he
> not? He would say that if it processes the same
> information as a human brain (or much more in this
> case), then it must have a mind.
> I'm not so sure. Information is in the eye of the
> beholder. There is nothing special about the
> particles in the brain compared to those in the
> rest of the body. Why then should the mind be
> limited to just the particles of the brain?
> What is different about the relationship between
> the particles that form the brain and the
> relationship between a particle in the brain and
> one in the spleen? And how is it that the
> relationship between the particles of the brain
> comes to exist as a mind? What kind of existence
> does that relationship have? In what medium does
> it exist?
> Lately, I've been thinking that all possible
> informational relationships do in fact exist as
> images (qualia) within an information-sphere.
> The particles of the brain are part of a system
> that is designed to model external reality. Thus we
> have an image of that reality, the mind. But animal
> brains also evolved to model themselves, thus the
> conscious mind. And the human brain is the pinnacle
> of both models, an extended mind.
> But there are images that exist for every
> informational state in the universe. Thus, there is
> an image of what it's like to be a pencil. It
> doesn't model reality, so it's not a mind. It's
> mostly a static image, but it changes slightly as
> the particles vibrate within the pencil, slightly
> changing their relationships and subsequent
> information.
> And the images that combine to form a human mind:
> somatosensory, proto-self, consciousness -- these
> are all incorporated into larger systems of
> information. Thus, your mind, your thoughts, are
> also part of a larger system that exists as
> zillions of minds, a meta-mind. And perhaps there
> are zillions of meta-minds which are part of a
> meta-meta-mind. No "layer" lower in the hierarchy
> is aware of any higher layer since it only exists
> at the simpler informational level of, say, one
> human brain.
> The ultimate meta-mind is having the experience
> of the entire universe. Everything that happens
> in the universe is a part of its mind. But just
> as you don't determine what your next thought will
> be, neither does this ultimate mind. The movements
> of the universe follow mindless physical
> limitations (including some indeterminance
> perhaps).
> All the images of the universe (including minds)
> are just shadows of discrete reality projected onto
> a continuous background. A mind is information, and
> information is always about something else. It's
> always determined. That's what it is; it can be no
> more. A human mind is information about the
> relationships of particles in the brain.
> Eric
Received on Mon Oct 11 1999 - 02:11:45 PDT

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