Monday, April 14, 2008

responses for Chalmers responses

Maybe the best way to deal with this is to look at what is chalmers responses to what he presumably thinks are the strongest.
So here is the starting point .

1) Katalin Balog: "Balog's parallel argument requires that a zombie's claim "I am conscious" is true; otherwise the argument doesn't get off the ground."
I think this isn't entirely true. the zombies argument relies on the same sort of argument Charmlers would use, and in the sense that Chalmers is undeniably right so too is the zombie.

If Chalmers accepts that we are talking in a sense where the truth value of "I have qualia" is separable from first person experience then we at least have a blow against 'qualia obviously exists because I experience it' because we are willing to reject 'others' experience. However I don't think its a fatal blow by itself except in as far as we think zombieism needs to be proactively proven as opposed to disproven.

2) "Bishop responds that mere counterfactual sensitivity can't make a difference to consciousness: surely it's what actually happens to a system that matters, not what would have happened if things had gone differently. He runs a version of the fading qualia argument, suggesting that we can remove unused state-transitions one-by-one, thus removing counterfactual sensitivity, while (he argues) preserving consciousness."
Sounds interesting not sure i have a position on it yet though.

3)Robert Kirk. "He argues that (1) on the zombiephile view, we are compounds of a physical zombie and nonphysical qualia, (2) a zombie can't detect nonphysical qualia, and qualia can't detect nonphysical qualia, (3) their compound (i.e. us) can't detect nonphysical qualia, either, so (4) the zombiephile view has the absurd consequence that we can't detect qualia."

I think this seems interestingly a less well worked attempt to make one of my arguments (and I thought I would be the sloppy one - maybe Charmlers is misrepresenting him)
1 isn't exactly Chalmers position, but I think charmers would end up disputing aspects of it that don't matter for the argument to work. What is more interesting is that Chalmers seems to fail to hit the nail on he head attaching 2 and 3.

"I think there's a case to be made that our phenomenology alone implies knowledge of qualia; e.g. a disembodied being with exactly my phenomenology would know it had qualia."

This misses the key point - the problem is that if that disembodied being doesn't communicate with itself it doesn't have anything that makes much sense as "disembodied knowledge" anymore than we would consider a rock has knowledge. A Rock is 'made of stuff" and that stuff could theoretically be arranged as a computer or something - but it isn't because it can't communicate in any meaningful structured way.

One can still get all interactionist here and deny 2 but that isn't the counter he chose to use.

"Further, the step from (2) to (3) is invalid: it's simply false that if neither A nor B can know that P, then a compound of A and B cannot know that P"

now that is true if this was a matter of 'cutting a brain' but we are talking about flows of information here. if the data cant get from one place to another it just doesn't get off the ground. Or more broardly - yes the whole can be 'more than the sum of the parts' in a sense - but the parts must leverage off certain types of traits each has not create entirely new ones.


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