Re: QTI & euthanasia (brouillon)

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2008 12:26:22 +0100

Hello GŁnther,

> Hello Bruno,
>> More exactly: I can conceive fake policemen in paper are not
>> conscious,
>> and that is all I need to accept I can be fail by some zombie.
>> Thus I can conceive zombies.
> Ok, but conceivability does not entail possibilty. I think
> philosophical
> zombies are impossible (=not able to exist in the real world), not
> inconceivable.

I agree. But I would call "your" zombie "physical zombie". Of course
this is because I know the result of the reasoning!

>> Developing this argument makes zombies logically conceivable, even, if
>> I would refute the claim that a zombie acting exactly like I would act
>> in any situation can exist. Accidental zombie can exist. It could
>> depend what we put exactly in the term zombie.
> Ok, I agree with that.
>>> and here you clarify:
>>>> If this were true, then the movie graph (step 8 without occam) would
>>>> not been needed. Arithmetical truth is provably full of
>>>> philosophical
>>>> zombies if comp is true and step 8 false.
> Hmm - in step 8 you eliminate the physical universe, which is ok *grin*
> - but why would arithmetical truth be full of zombies with comp true
> and
> step 8 false -> physicalism true? do you mean because we could than
> program AIs which would behave "correctly" but would not be conscious?
>> So it is just a theorem in computer science: computations are
>> encodable
>> (and thus encoded) in the (additive+multiplicative) relations existing
>> between numbers.
> Ok, I'm with you.
>> So, someone who does not believe in philosophical zombies, does not
>> need the step 8 (the Movie Graph Argument MGA), because arithmetical
>> truth does contains the computation describing, well, for example this
>> very discussion we have here and now.
> Ok, so I guess that would be my position *grin* - I think that all
> states have a form of mentality - maybe not full consciousness, but
> mentality.

I can agree for "all computational states" of some (universal) machine.
If you don't precise what you mean by state it is a bit too much
general. Imo.

>> For me the MGA is needed because I don't want to rely on the non
>> existence of zombie.
> Ok.
> What I still don't get is why you associate mental states only with
> _true_ statements. Why not with false ones? Would that not be more in
> line with a plenitude-like theory?
> False states could encode very weird psychic experiences (dreams for
> instance or whatever...)

OK. This I have to answer if you want you to understand the argument.
"False state" does not makes sense. Only "false proposition" or "false
statement" makes sense.
So, in case, for example, you dream that you are Napoleon, or you dream
that "17 is not a prime number". Those are false statements, but
assuming comp, your consciousness of the statement "17 is not a prime
number" will supervene on the TRUE statement that some machine have
access the state corresponding to your belief that 17 is not prime. The
true arithmetical statement on which consciousness will have to
supervene are just description of computation under the form : "the
machine XXX has got the state YYY from the input RRR".
If consciouness did supervene on true beliefs only, then all white
rabbits would be eliminated at the start. OK? This point is important
to proceed from UDA to Arithmetical UDA.

>>> I follow you that 1st person is recoverable by a 3rd person number
>>> theoretic description - or better, OMs are - but how would a zombie
>>> come
>>> about? Can you give an example?
>> Just consider the computation which correspond to your actual real
>> life. That computation is encoded (indeed an infinity of times) in the
>> Universal Deploiement, which is itself encoded (indeed an infinity of
>> times) in the set of all arithmetical truth. All right?
> Agreed in principle (with my question of why only true sentences
> thrown in)

So I repeat the key point. Consciousness supervene on computation, and
computation are described by proof of true statement of arithmetic,
even in the case of dream or error, which occur at a higher level of
description. It is really the difference between "17 is not a prime
number" (false statement) and "the machine got the state "I believe 17
is not prime", which can be a true statement if the machine indeed
believe 17 is not prime.

>> such a > computation would define an arithmetical version of you, and
>> would
>> constitute a phisophical (indeed arithmetical) zombies.
> Ok, I think it would not be a zombie - already once we accept _comp_ -
> maudlin notwithstanding; I think Maudlin saw his argument rather as
> causing a problem for _comp_

Both Maudlin (1989) and me (1988) shows :


But (NOT A or NOT B) is equivalent with (A -> NOT B). and is equiavlent
with (B -> NOT A).

So (NOT MECH or NOT PHYS) is equivalent with
MECH implies NOT PHYS,
and is equivalent again with
PHYS implies NOT MECH.

Maudlin assume PHYS and thus concludes there is a problem with MECH.
I assume MECH and thus conclude there is a problem with PHYS.

But the reasoning are equivalent.

All right? It seems to me you have everything to understand the seven
steps of the UDA. You are OK with 1...7. My point was that if you
don't believe in arithmetical (as a particular case of philosophical)
zombie, the the Movie Graph Argument is not needed. If you don't
believe in what I would call physical zombie, and yet believe in
primary physical things, then the MGA is needed (step 8). All right?



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Received on Fri Nov 07 2008 - 06:25:53 PST

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