Friday, June 26, 2009

Zombieophile counter arguments

1) In an ideal world dualists and physicalists can agree on what is physical and non physical.
And some physicalists do implicitly believe in dualism so it might convince someone.

2) Even if conception is just in a negitive sense this is somthing.

3) We can reject the causal theory of reference.
Maybe intuition and conception have some sort of cross world presence.

4) You don't need to fully concieve of something all you need to do is fail to find contradictions to get (weak) evidence somthing is true.

5) If the trees are fundiemntially identical then there is no issue.

6) science doesn't apply for two reasons, first because this is an a priori question and second because we have reason to believe first person experience is not reducable to third person experience. the only reason why science applies else where is bcause other things are not seperated in this way.
So yes qualia may be weird things indeed but we expect that.

7) any other argument would outweigh such considerations.


Anonymous Soluman said...

I followed a link to your blog, but I still don't exactly understand what you mean when it comes to science. Do you think that science should tell us what ultraviolet colors look like? If you do, then you have a different view than the scientists themselves, and one not based on any empirical evidence. If you don't, then you are admitting to dualism.

The problem with physicalism, in this sense, is that it claims to uphold the principles of naturalism, but it is prescriptive towards science. It doesn't matter that the physicalist views of science are rejected by scientists who do not think that they can discover "what it's like" to have alien experiences.

It is ironically dualism that is fully consistent with science in this respect, in that it doesn't attempt to force empirical results that seem unlikely to exist.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Genius said...

I dont know if that is really a fully defined problem.
First as I conver in the post on the knowledge argument - I don't think that our brains can really understand from base facts the experience of "ultraviolet" or "red".

But that doesn't mean it isn't understandable by a god.

If your comment about science is that scientists tend to be dualists - well I dont know, I guess I'd like to see a survey.

If instead what you are saying is that physicalist scientists tend not to devote their life to figuring out what it is like to experience red then I imagine that is true.

I'm not sue why you think the last part of your comment is important. Physicalism is less and argument against dualism than just failing to take dualism seriously in the same way that saying the flying spagetti monster doesnt exist isn't invalid based on the millions of experimental results I must be infering based on no evidence.

Anyway - surely theories should be considered better if they predict results than if they dont? where would we be if we always favoured hte latter?

4:46 PM  
Blogger Genius said...

And to dirctly adress what I was saying in this post. I think that you can flesh out what you mean when you say "qualia". (although Most dualists try not to).
there are a whole list of things in the order of laws in the modern world that qualia appear to breach for example conservation of energy. Under normal situations making no experimental claims, breaching large numbers of known laws of the universe and being unable to construct a coherent story about how the theory works would result in the hypothesis being discarded.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Soluman said...

My comment about scientists is not that they tend to be dualist. As a rule, they don't care about physicalism or dualism one whit. What is important in science is causal closure, which is not at issue here.

My point is that no neuroscientist that I know of would endorse the idea that they can understand what ultraviolet colors look like to bees by simply understanding their nervous system. Any neuroscientist who stated otherwise in a talk would be ridiculed.

As for "physicalist" scientists not devoting their lives to imagining what a color might look like... There is no such thing as "physicalist science", All scientists play by the same rules. And scientists don't try to determine why ultraviolet colors may look like to bees because we don't believe that it is possible to do so, and it is a prima facie unscientific question. That's precisely my point.

As for the end of your first post, I'm not sure what you're getting at. It seems like you're confusing metaphysical theories with scientific theories. What predictions do you think physicalism makes? Both theories entail causal closure, so there are no possible empirical differences between the two.

As for your second post, I think it is confused. You are either talking about interactionist dualism, or you are relying on a confused understanding of thermodynamics.

By asking me what I mean by qualia, I also think you're being disingenuous. Qualia is "what it is like" to have an experience. It always has been, and we've discussed this before.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Genius said...

> And scientists don't try to determine why ultraviolet colors may look like to bees because we don't believe that it is possible to do so.

I think your exagerating their position. Surely what you mean that we are too far from solving that question. Ie it is the same sort of reason we dont have experiments to figure out "what will humans be doing in 10,000 years".

So that is why it would be ridiculous to stand up and claim you have solved the problem.

> What predictions do you think physicalism makes?

well I was refering to your point - it predicts we can explain what it is like to see red. Thats at least something. If your form of dualism predicts we will discover a qualia then I'd give it more credibility.

> or you are relying on a confused understanding of thermodynamics.

...Take it up with Jeremy that is why I linked to someone else saying the same thing. Otherwise I dont know why to believe your assertation.

>Qualia is "what it is like" to have an experience.

No This is a differnet point. I am not asking you about 'what they are" in that sense.

To use the metaphore of water - I know water is wet - but I also want to know if it obeys gravity and if it evaporates etc... I can ask those sorts of questions about anything else in the universe.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Genius said...

actually to be fairier on two points:

1) I'm exagerating you dont disprove physicalism even if humans can't find an explination for red - but you do give it a pretty hard knock. And again that is better than nothing.

2) I'll probably need a long list of question to know exactly how to put it starting from the beginning --> do you think qualia (non physical qualia) are entities upon which it makes sense to apply laws like the laws of thermodynamics?

12:40 AM  
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7:11 AM  

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