Saturday, August 30, 2008

summary of secular philosophy debate

Secular philosophy summary

Massimo writes the main post - in it he claims that he can conceive is squared circles. Robert Newsome also asserts he can conceive of such a scenario and Jay insists that no one can.

To explain this I indicate that there are two types of conceivability - one is a matter of fact about the brain of the person conceiving. that is that they have placed a certain concept in two bins in this case squares and circles. Surely this is undeniable. This I contend is is doing all the work when Jay "i can conceive of a zombie". that is the main reason why the 3 of us contend that it proves nothing that zombies are conceivable (in the simple sense). Ie it is very obviously a cheap sense of conceivability. Jay seems to accept that theologians have used this sort of cheap sense of conceivability of a rock so heavy god couldn't lift it.

The second type of conceivability is ideal conceivability something I suggest neither square circles or zombies have. Now Zombies MIGHT have it since I cant positively disprove that but I expect they don't

Jay argues that "the *logical* possibility of zombies seems to illustrate nicely the hardness of the hard problem. "

My problem with this is that from the argument above I believe you can create a scenario that LOOKS possible but isn't - so the fact that Chalmers may have found one of those is completely consistent with expectation - and no need to revise ones world view.

Jay asks "Which molecule is the one which guarantees experience? "

well simple - all of them together even if you are then going to say that all of them together evoke qualia or a spirit you still need the first step.

Karl indicates that Chalmers believes that matter might have an inherent conscious aspect to it. I extend on this by suggesting that this inherit consciousness is what I call ATE "ability to run an equation" and that this is just a fundamental part of physics - and needs no re-explaining. as per steele man's request I give a formula for conciousness

Me = Brain (including ATE)
Bottle of water = ATE
Zombie = brain - ATE

wherein Brain contains all that information about processing power that would give you IQ and so forth. In case you are in doubt - the IQ of a bottle of water is of course 0.

Jay asks for a reason why the hard problem is not a hard problem. my problem here is that he seems to want a disproof of dualism. I don't propose to have that - I just mean duelists haven't established there is a problem so it doesn't even make it onto the table.

"had not realized that we had pin-pointed why or how the arrangement and activity between these molecules fully explained consciousness."

depends on what you demand from a ful explanation. Sure you might not know exactly how fast a rock will fall if I drop it through the branches of a tree - but I understand it.

Jay continues to assert/dispute

"Ideally" conceivable is not a helpfully distinct from any other modest type of conceivability.
The impossibility of your 100 mile high unicycle is quite a contingent fact, but something is not conceivable if it is not possible by definition, which is the category square circles fall into... you still have not demonstrated that you understand this distinction.
The oddity of zombies is quite irrelevant (to the ability of us to conceive of them usefully)


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