Dueling zombies

Joe wrote:

Khuno wrote:
Joe wrote:
How can a zombie empathize with your pain, if he cannot feel pain?

The same way a Tony Robbins CD can.
Joe wrote:
zombie = a hypothetical being that is indistinguishable from a normal human being except that it lacks conscious experience

awareness = "having knowledge of", "a state of conscious experience", "the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns", "knowing or realizing; conscious", "the condition of being aware: cognizance, consciousness, perception, sense"

empathy = the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another

Since zombies can have NO conscious experiences and since empathy presupposes the having of conscious experiences; therefore, zombies cannot experience empathy. Zombies - by definition - cannot empathize, because it's bound-up in conscious experiences - which they utterly lack. The same argument applies - trivially - to Compact Disks.
Joe wrote:
Khuno wrote:
There are "types" of consciousness...intentional, causal consciousness that is described by functionalists and, in more depth, neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists...zombies exhibit this type of consciousness. Then there is phenomenal consciousness; qualia, which I believe is, actually, consciousness--for if a zombie (in logical possibility) can exhibit the former and not the latter, the former doesn't count as consciousness. And it, by definition, is causally inert.

If "intentional, causal consciousness" is NOT consciousness, then how can "zombies exhibit this type of consciousness."? You facilely redefined the word "consciousness" into the lack of consciousness within a single paragraph - as it were on the fly - from sentence to sentence.
Khuno wrote:
Perhaps you should read a book by dennett or take a class in the philosophy of mind (you don't what functionalism is--well, you don't understand it).

Maybe you need a refresher course in logic. To logicians, self-contradiction is widely rumored to defuse an argument - not enhance it. Arguments which give rise to self-contradiction - as above - are simply not valid.

Non-interactionary dualism (the occult belief-claim that consciousness is causally inert) - when grafted to functionalism as has been demonstrated for quite some time - generates obscene paradoxes. Should consciousness be causally inert - functionalism could not apply to conscious experiences. If consciousness were causally inert, it could not functionally interact with brain-states. (I pointed-out this trite detail over two years ago.)

Joe wrote:
Suppose that - if you think that you drink due to the conscious desire to drink (because you become aware of a thirst), this cannot occur under non-interactionary dualism - as consciousness is causally inert. Conscious experience cannot effect any behavior, coordinated to satisfy a conscious thirst-desire. Your inert consciousness makes it utterly incapable of reaching out into the world (mediated by your body) to modify events through enacting the necessary movements required to pour a drink and drink the drink. Consciousness, under this (mis)interpretation, lies in an air-sealed crypt, a-causal and disconnected from the rest of the world. Functionalism cannot work if it's logically impossible for conscious experience to causally interact with the rest of the world. Severing-off conscious experience from the universal web of causal interdependency breaks functionalism to bits, making it explanatorily irrelevent (i.e. functionless) to conscious experience.

Further, Dennett does not conceive of and approach conscious experience as causally inert. Only those, inhabiting the cultic fringe - the non-interactionary dualists, do.

Khuno wrote:
dennett would say that the causal aspects of sadness are all there is to it, and that the zombie is in fact sad.

Dennett denies that zombies are metaphysically possible. Imaginary beings claimed to have no conscious experiences - trivially - cannot empathize with another's sadness (i.e. consciously identifying with the thoughts, feelings and experiences of conscious beings). Dennett accepts supervenience (the principle whereby psychological states depend on physical states). The failure (i.e. cross-world inequivalence) of supervenience IS the pivot on which the possible existence of zombies turns.

Since psychological properties supervene on physical properties, then any two persons who are physically indistinguishable must also be psychologically indistinguishable.

Dennett rejects the basis for your god-damned zombies, i.e. the breakdown of supervenience. To him, two beings who are in the same physical state must be in the same mental state. Dennett rejects the notion that one of two physically identical beings can have mental states - while the other physically identical being (a zombie) entirely lacks mental states. Below is Dennett's complete dismissal of the zombie side-show:


"Supposing that by an act of stipulative imagination you can remove consciousness while leaving all cognitive systems intact - a quite standard but entirely bogus feat of imagination - is like supposing that by an act of stipulative imagination, you can remove health while leaving all bodily functions and powers intact. Health isn't that sort of thing, and neither is consciousness."

Khuno wrote:
you're the one who's insisting that awareness as a mental state cannot be described or defined in terms of any behavior (linguistic, even)...that is, a mental state.

I'm the one insisting that zombies and CDs have neither awareness nor mental states! Nothing about imaginary beings (zombies) and audio technology (CDs) can be coherently "described or defined in terms of any behavior (linguistic, even)...that is, a mental state".

My objection to your profound misunderstanding as to how zombies are defined by philosophers and your silliness that CDs experience empathy are logically disconnected from whether I accept (or reject) "any behavior" - as it pertains human beings!

Trivially, conscious-lacking CDs do not enjoy states of conscious experience. The molecular arrangements, comprising a CD, are not sufficiently complex to give rise to any "behavior (linguistic, even)" which could allow them to be described as "conscious of vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of a human being", i.e. empathy.

Khuno wrote:
there is an intentional component that manifests in the behavior classed "empathizing" that is what a zombie does--perfectly mimes all of our empathy sans the phenomenal component.

How do you know that zombies, CDs, rocks or thermostats have ever manifested an instance of "mimicry", associated with an experience of empathy? It's your contention that something is happening in the world, "mimicry". It is - unmistakeably - an experiential matter. You need evidence to back this rubbish-notion up. You cannot do this with your mind - by confusing zombies and CDs with people and people with zombies and CDs.

As an analogy to this zombie mischief, compare what Khuno is advancing to the kid's board game: "Candyland", how the game is played and what the "landmarks", inscribed on the board, represent. Players draw cards from the deck, and they move their "characters" to the closest space, designated by the color-square on the card. As the players move their "characters" 'round the board, they pass various "landmarks" - such as "the Candy Cane Forest", "the Gum Drop Mountain" and "the Molasses Swamp". Do the "landmarks" of the game exist outside of the game, i.e. in the world? To determine whether any of these "landmarks" exist, one must do the hard work, like traveling and looking for these "landmarks", then either finding (or obviously not finding them).

To decide whether an "intentional component" and mime behavior exist on the part of zombies and CDs, Khuno needs to do the hard work - like looking for the "intentional component" and the alleged, accompanying mime behavior, then either finding or not finding them. He cannot - by fiat - decree them into being, insisting that anyone who criticizes the existences of his "intentional component" and mime behavior does not understand what the devil modern philosophy has gotten itself up to or accept that modern philosophy has driven itself totally off the deep-end. Khuno has been playing a game with this Myspace group as his board. Zombies and CDs are the "characters", and his "intentional component" and the supposed mime behavior are the "landmarks".

As I have stressed - for over 2 years, empathy presupposes the existence of the "phenomenal component". Cashing-out empathy as having to do with anything other than a conscious experience is a self-contradiction - and a major-league equivocation. Only beings who possess a "phenomenal component" can empathize - which leaves zombies and CDs out in the cold, lacking empathy. Even if - per impossibile - such an "intentional component" and mime behavior on the parts of zombies and CDs were detected, they could not rise to the level of being states of conscious experiences.