Re: Simulation argument in the NY Times

From: Randall Randall (
Date: Mon Aug 20 2007 - 12:31:30 MDT

On Aug 20, 2007, at 12:16 PM, Matt Mahoney wrote:
> --- Stathis Papaioannou <> wrote:
>> It's logically possible that consciousness is due to a physical
>> process, but a different physical process might result in no
>> consciousness or different consciousness despite similar external
>> behaviour.
> Yes, but the definition of a p-zombie is that it has no experiences
> but is
> otherwise indistinguishable from human. Therefore there can be no
> test for
> consciousness in this sense. It means that if there is a physical
> process
> associated with consciousness (in this sense), it is impossible to
> know what
> it is.

One of consciousness or p-zombies must exist, at least,
since p-zombies are defined as being exactly like humans
in every way except consciousness. Of course, if you
accept that consciousness is likely a physical process,
then it seems nonsensical to speak of a machine which is
exactly like a human, but without consciousness.

I guess I'll stop belaboring this now.

Randall Randall <>
"This is a fascinating question, right up there with whether rocks
fall because of gravity or being dropped, and whether 3+5=5+3
because addition is commutative or because they both equal 8."
   - Scott Aaronson

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