Re: Searles' Fundamental Error

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 09:40:58 +1100

On 2/21/07, Brent Meeker <> wrote:

> A human with an intact brain behaving like an awake human could not
> > really be a zombie unless you believe in magic. However, it is possible
> > to conceive of intelligently-behaving beings who do not have an internal
> > life because they lack the right sort of brains. I am not suggesting
> > that this is the case and there are reasons to think it is unlikely to
> > be the case, but it is not ruled out by any empirical observation.
> >
> > Stathis Papaioannou
> The problem is that there doesn't seem to be any conceivable observation
> that could rule it out. So by Popper's rule it is a not a scientific
> proposition but rather a metaphysical one. This is another way of saying
> that there is no agreed upon way of assigning a truth or probability value
> to it.
> Brent Meeker

This is the usual accusation, but in one sense first person experience is
perfectly easily verified - by the first person. This is a problem for
science because we want our experiments to be third person repeatable and
verifiable, otherwise anyone could make up anything, but arguably this is a
practical rather than philosophical requirement.

Stathis Papaioannou

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Received on Tue Feb 20 2007 - 17:41:15 PST

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