Sunday, January 02, 2011

the Zombie Argument

In Refuting the Zombie Argument, part II screw plato looks at the zombie argument.

As occurs in most dualist debates - He argues "faith in our intuition is unjustified" in response to the dualists apparent over confidence in the value of their intuitions. The dualists response to this was "we have nothing else so intuition is some evidence".

So to look into this let's look at how intuition works.

from wikipedia "The term intuition is used to describe thoughts and preferences that come to mind quickly and without much reflection"

These thoughts are defined only by that they are not intermediated by the rational format. In this sense thy by their nature are inferior IF they include only the same set of data - but often this will not be the case. So again from wikipedia

"The reliability of one's intuition depends greatly on past knowledge and occurrences in a specific area. For example, someone who has had more experiences with children will tend to have a better instinct or intuition about what they should do in certain situations with them."

Intuition is a way for your brain to sift through experience without having to formally state what it is doing and because of that it can sift through more information faster but is more prome to error.

There are certain situations where intuition would add value - there is a very complex set of facts that you know of but are unable to formalize at that particular moment. What you can bring to this problem is a set of vague rules that were created off the back of those facts, then you find that those vague rules dont fit with the hypothesis.

So can we say that this is likely to be the case?

a) if you are not really concentrating on resolving the problem
b) you have reason to believe there is a lot of evidence available that you can access in theory but not directly.

The problem is a is false and for b the dualists have not proposed specifically what that evidence is or why they expect it to be there - in fact in the case of epiphenominalism it can't exist (because in epiphenominalism qualia have no effect on the arguments you make so they can't create evidence that would lead to an argument).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Genius,you are so far from understanding how mind/brain works,I would advise you to start again from the beginning of your train of thought.The problem is indeed false.This piece is a flag-waving exercise.If you cannot at least admit to the basic paradox,whatever "dualists" make of them,at whatever level,you are being simplistic.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Genius said...

I don't expect to convince everyone, but here I am addressing a specific argument. I'm not sure what to say to your response since it doesn't seem to engage with that argument or my counter argument.

11:33 AM  

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