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Legion. An amalgamated journal.

Happy Halloween

How can we know whether or not something’s home in there? We aren’t mind-readers. Not even a brain surgeon can guarantee that a patient is conscious. This is called the “other-minds” problem, and it’s important to note that it is unlike any other problem in science having to do with the existence or reality of something that is unobservable. Quarks, like consciousness, cannot be observed directly, but there are many things that follow from quarks’ existing or not existing, and those things can be observed. Does anything follow from the existence of consciousness, that would not follow just as readily if we were all Zombies who merely acted exactly as if they were conscious?

Steven Harnad, “Why and How We Are Not Zombies,” Journal of Consciousness Studies 1 (1995), pg. 164-167.

Garrett Dash Nelson

October 31st, 2008 at 10:10 pm