Difference between revisions of "Philosophical zombie"

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{{wikilink|Philosophical zombie}}
 
{{wikilink|Philosophical zombie}}
A '''philosophical zombie''' or '''p-zombie''' is a hypothetical being that looks and behaves exactly like a person, but is not really conscious.  A p-zombie is as likely as anyone else to ask "when I see red, do I see the same colour that you see when you see red" but they have no real experience of the colour red.
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A '''philosophical zombie''' or '''p-zombie''' is a hypothetical entity that looks and behaves exactly like a human (often stipulated to be atom-by-atom identical to a human) but is not actually conscious.  A p-zombie is as likely as anyone else to ask, "When I see red, do I see the same color that you see when you see red?" but they have no real experience of the color red; the zombie's speech can be explained purely in mechanistic terms. The zombie thought experiment is purported to show that consciousness cannot be reduced to [[Joy in the merely real|merely physical]] things: our universe is purported to perhaps have special "bridging laws" which evoke a mind into existence when there are atoms in a suitable brain-like configuration.
  
Many LW/OB contributors believe that the idea of p-zombies is not meaningful.
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Critics deny the possibility of zombies: if a p-zombie is atom-by-atom identical to a human being in our universe, then ''our'' speech can be explained by the same mechanisms as the zombie's, and yet it would seem ''awfully peculiar'' that our words and actions would have one entirely materialistic explanation, but also, ''furthermore'', our universe happens to contain exactly the right bridging law such that our experiences are meaningful and our consciousness syncs up with what our merely physical bodies do. It's too much of a stretch: [[Occam's razor]] dictates that we favor a monistic universe with [[Universal law|one uniform set of laws]].
  
 
==Blog posts==
 
==Blog posts==

Revision as of 08:37, 19 November 2009

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A philosophical zombie or p-zombie is a hypothetical entity that looks and behaves exactly like a human (often stipulated to be atom-by-atom identical to a human) but is not actually conscious. A p-zombie is as likely as anyone else to ask, "When I see red, do I see the same color that you see when you see red?" but they have no real experience of the color red; the zombie's speech can be explained purely in mechanistic terms. The zombie thought experiment is purported to show that consciousness cannot be reduced to merely physical things: our universe is purported to perhaps have special "bridging laws" which evoke a mind into existence when there are atoms in a suitable brain-like configuration.

Critics deny the possibility of zombies: if a p-zombie is atom-by-atom identical to a human being in our universe, then our speech can be explained by the same mechanisms as the zombie's, and yet it would seem awfully peculiar that our words and actions would have one entirely materialistic explanation, but also, furthermore, our universe happens to contain exactly the right bridging law such that our experiences are meaningful and our consciousness syncs up with what our merely physical bodies do. It's too much of a stretch: Occam's razor dictates that we favor a monistic universe with one uniform set of laws.

Blog posts

See also

External links