Re: Asifism

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2007 11:47:46 -0700

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> On 01/06/07, *Torgny Tholerus* <
> <>> wrote:
> Stathis Papaioannou skrev:
>> On 01/06/07, *Torgny Tholerus* <
>> <>> wrote:
>> I behave AS IF I am conscious because the natural selection
>> has favored that type of behavior.
>> Which implies you really are conscious, because otherwise why
>> would evolution have gone to the trouble of making *me* conscious
>> if it could have got away without it?
> It did got away without it... ;-)
> I assure you, at least one entity in the universe is conscious: me. If
> evolution could have made me a zombie, it would have. Therefore, it
> seems reasonable to assume that evolution couldn't help but grant me
> consciousness as a side-effect or epiphenomenon, the real prize being
> intelligent behaviour. There are some philosophers (eg. Daniel Dennett)
> who would argue that consciousness is *nothing but* this intelligent
> behaviour, and the idea of a zombie is logically incoherent, but I'm not
> entirely convinced that this is right.
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou

I'm with Dennett, except that I think logic is to weak a tool to rule out zombies. It would require proving a contradiction from "X acts like a conscious human" and "X is not conscious". But all you really need is to show it's nomologically impossible - i.e. would imply a violation of presumed scientific knowledge. I think that may be possible.

Brent Meeker

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Received on Fri Jun 01 2007 - 14:47:57 PDT

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