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Philosophical Zombies

Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/29/2014 6:20:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Philosophical Zombies are beings that would behave and exactly as humans do but lack conciousness. They are used as an argument against materialism/physicalism:

This is the argument I found off Wikipedia, I'm sure there are other formulations:

P1. If Physicalism is true, then everything that exists in our world is material
P2. From P1, therefore if a carbon-copy world exists (if Physicalism is true), THEN the beings in that world would possess conciousness
P3. It is metaphysically possible that such a world exists where the beings do not possess conciousness (P-Zombies)
C. Therefore, physicalism is false.

What so you think of these sorts of arguments? My thought is that such a world is logically inconsistent, since it presupposes Physicalism is true in the p-zombie world, therefore such beings would inevitably possess conciousness, which is just me restating P2. And doesn't seem satisfactory.

The other side of things is that it at best only prove there is a metaphysically possible world where Physicalism is false, and cannot be extended to the existing world.

Thoughts?
PeacefulChaos
Posts: 2,610
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6/29/2014 10:09:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/29/2014 6:20:46 PM, Envisage wrote:
Philosophical Zombies are beings that would behave and exactly as humans do but lack conciousness. They are used as an argument against materialism/physicalism:

This is the argument I found off Wikipedia, I'm sure there are other formulations:

P1. If Physicalism is true, then everything that exists in our world is material
P2. From P1, therefore if a carbon-copy world exists (if Physicalism is true), THEN the beings in that world would possess conciousness
P3. It is metaphysically possible that such a world exists where the beings do not possess conciousness (P-Zombies)
C. Therefore, physicalism is false.

What so you think of these sorts of arguments? My thought is that such a world is logically inconsistent, since it presupposes Physicalism is true in the p-zombie world, therefore such beings would inevitably possess conciousness, which is just me restating P2. And doesn't seem satisfactory.

The other side of things is that it at best only prove there is a metaphysically possible world where Physicalism is false, and cannot be extended to the existing world.

Thoughts?

tbh it wasn't very convincing. Just because it's metaphysically possible doesn't mean physicalism is false. It's not as though physicalism has to be true in every single possible world in order to be true in our reality. If that was the case, absolutely nothing would be true, because nothing is true in every single metaphysical possible world. This isn't God we're talking about here.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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6/30/2014 1:37:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/29/2014 6:20:46 PM, Envisage wrote:
Philosophical Zombies are beings that would behave and exactly as humans do but lack conciousness. They are used as an argument against materialism/physicalism:

This is the argument I found off Wikipedia, I'm sure there are other formulations:

P1. If Physicalism is true, then everything that exists in our world is material
P2. From P1, therefore if a carbon-copy world exists (if Physicalism is true), THEN the beings in that world would possess conciousness
P3. It is metaphysically possible that such a world exists where the beings do not possess conciousness (P-Zombies)
C. Therefore, physicalism is false.

What so you think of these sorts of arguments? My thought is that such a world is logically inconsistent, since it presupposes Physicalism is true in the p-zombie world, therefore such beings would inevitably possess conciousness, which is just me restating P2. And doesn't seem satisfactory.

The other side of things is that it at best only prove there is a metaphysically possible world where Physicalism is false, and cannot be extended to the existing world.

Thoughts?

If physicalism is true, that doesn't mean it is necessarily true (true in all possible worlds). Ergo, there could still be a possible world with P-Zombies, and that wouldn't mean physicalism couldn't be true at least in the actual world.
x2MuzioPlayer
Posts: 37
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6/30/2014 3:30:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/29/2014 6:20:46 PM, Envisage wrote:

P1. If Physicalism is true, then everything that exists in our world is material
P2. From P1, therefore if a carbon-copy world exists (if Physicalism is true), THEN the beings in that world would possess conciousness
P3. It is metaphysically possible that such a world exists where the beings do not possess conciousness (P-Zombies)
C. Therefore, physicalism is false.

Isn't this just an ontological argument in disguise?

What so you think of these sorts of arguments? My thought is that such a world is logically inconsistent, since it presupposes Physicalism is true in the p-zombie world, therefore such beings would inevitably possess conciousness, which is just me restating P2. And doesn't seem satisfactory.

Actually, I think you have it backwards. I think what it's assuming is that Physicalism is false in the actual world, that consciousness is somehow independent of the physical properties that necessarily lead to consciousness. It's hypothesizing a world in which everything is the same, except consciousness doesn't exist (meaning it is somehow possible to detach it from the rest of the physical world). I'm pretty sure this argument is just circling around the presumption that Physicalism is false.

The other side of things is that it at best only prove there is a metaphysically possible world where Physicalism is false, and cannot be extended to the existing world.

Thoughts?

I think people need to stop presuming that things we can imagine are somehow necessarily linked to reality.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/30/2014 11:17:38 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/29/2014 10:09:30 PM, PeacefulChaos wrote:
At 6/29/2014 6:20:46 PM, Envisage wrote:
Philosophical Zombies are beings that would behave and exactly as humans do but lack conciousness. They are used as an argument against materialism/physicalism:

This is the argument I found off Wikipedia, I'm sure there are other formulations:

P1. If Physicalism is true, then everything that exists in our world is material
P2. From P1, therefore if a carbon-copy world exists (if Physicalism is true), THEN the beings in that world would possess conciousness
P3. It is metaphysically possible that such a world exists where the beings do not possess conciousness (P-Zombies)
C. Therefore, physicalism is false.

What so you think of these sorts of arguments? My thought is that such a world is logically inconsistent, since it presupposes Physicalism is true in the p-zombie world, therefore such beings would inevitably possess conciousness, which is just me restating P2. And doesn't seem satisfactory.

The other side of things is that it at best only prove there is a metaphysically possible world where Physicalism is false, and cannot be extended to the existing world.

Thoughts?

tbh it wasn't very convincing. Just because it's metaphysically possible doesn't mean physicalism is false. It's not as though physicalism has to be true in every single possible world in order to be true in our reality. If that was the case, absolutely nothing would be true, because nothing is true in every single metaphysical possible world. This isn't God we're talking about here.

True, I think the argument assumes that physicalism and idealism are necessary truths, therefore if they are false in one world then they are false in all possible worlds.

Although the justification for this seems weak, I agree.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/30/2014 11:21:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/30/2014 1:37:45 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 6/29/2014 6:20:46 PM, Envisage wrote:
Philosophical Zombies are beings that would behave and exactly as humans do but lack conciousness. They are used as an argument against materialism/physicalism:

This is the argument I found off Wikipedia, I'm sure there are other formulations:

P1. If Physicalism is true, then everything that exists in our world is material
P2. From P1, therefore if a carbon-copy world exists (if Physicalism is true), THEN the beings in that world would possess conciousness
P3. It is metaphysically possible that such a world exists where the beings do not possess conciousness (P-Zombies)
C. Therefore, physicalism is false.

What so you think of these sorts of arguments? My thought is that such a world is logically inconsistent, since it presupposes Physicalism is true in the p-zombie world, therefore such beings would inevitably possess conciousness, which is just me restating P2. And doesn't seem satisfactory.

The other side of things is that it at best only prove there is a metaphysically possible world where Physicalism is false, and cannot be extended to the existing world.

Thoughts?

If physicalism is true, that doesn't mean it is necessarily true (true in all possible worlds). Ergo, there could still be a possible world with P-Zombies, and that wouldn't mean physicalism couldn't be true at least in the actual world.

As replied to the previous guy, I think it's because the argument assumes physicalism is a necessary truth for this example. Either that or the conceived world IS a physical world, and it intends to entail a contradiction. If I could reformulate:

1.) If physicalism is true, then no physical world could contain P-Zombies
2.) It is possible for a physical world to contain P-Zombies
C.) Physicalism is false

It seems to eliminate itself by description, I.e. P2 is just plain impossible, but you do the usual shenanigans to justify the possibility...
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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6/30/2014 11:23:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/30/2014 11:21:25 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 6/30/2014 1:37:45 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 6/29/2014 6:20:46 PM, Envisage wrote:
Philosophical Zombies are beings that would behave and exactly as humans do but lack conciousness. They are used as an argument against materialism/physicalism:

This is the argument I found off Wikipedia, I'm sure there are other formulations:

P1. If Physicalism is true, then everything that exists in our world is material
P2. From P1, therefore if a carbon-copy world exists (if Physicalism is true), THEN the beings in that world would possess conciousness
P3. It is metaphysically possible that such a world exists where the beings do not possess conciousness (P-Zombies)
C. Therefore, physicalism is false.

What so you think of these sorts of arguments? My thought is that such a world is logically inconsistent, since it presupposes Physicalism is true in the p-zombie world, therefore such beings would inevitably possess conciousness, which is just me restating P2. And doesn't seem satisfactory.

The other side of things is that it at best only prove there is a metaphysically possible world where Physicalism is false, and cannot be extended to the existing world.

Thoughts?

If physicalism is true, that doesn't mean it is necessarily true (true in all possible worlds). Ergo, there could still be a possible world with P-Zombies, and that wouldn't mean physicalism couldn't be true at least in the actual world.

As replied to the previous guy, I think it's because the argument assumes physicalism is a necessary truth for this example. Either that or the conceived world IS a physical world, and it intends to entail a contradiction. If I could reformulate:

1.) If physicalism is true, then no physical world could contain P-Zombies
2.) It is possible for a physical world to contain P-Zombies
C.) Physicalism is false

It seems to eliminate itself by description, I.e. P2 is just plain impossible, but you do the usual shenanigans to justify the possibility...

P1 is just plain false.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/30/2014 11:30:02 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/30/2014 11:23:48 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 6/30/2014 11:21:25 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 6/30/2014 1:37:45 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 6/29/2014 6:20:46 PM, Envisage wrote:
Philosophical Zombies are beings that would behave and exactly as humans do but lack conciousness. They are used as an argument against materialism/physicalism:

This is the argument I found off Wikipedia, I'm sure there are other formulations:

P1. If Physicalism is true, then everything that exists in our world is material
P2. From P1, therefore if a carbon-copy world exists (if Physicalism is true), THEN the beings in that world would possess conciousness
P3. It is metaphysically possible that such a world exists where the beings do not possess conciousness (P-Zombies)
C. Therefore, physicalism is false.

What so you think of these sorts of arguments? My thought is that such a world is logically inconsistent, since it presupposes Physicalism is true in the p-zombie world, therefore such beings would inevitably possess conciousness, which is just me restating P2. And doesn't seem satisfactory.

The other side of things is that it at best only prove there is a metaphysically possible world where Physicalism is false, and cannot be extended to the existing world.

Thoughts?

If physicalism is true, that doesn't mean it is necessarily true (true in all possible worlds). Ergo, there could still be a possible world with P-Zombies, and that wouldn't mean physicalism couldn't be true at least in the actual world.

As replied to the previous guy, I think it's because the argument assumes physicalism is a necessary truth for this example. Either that or the conceived world IS a physical world, and it intends to entail a contradiction. If I could reformulate:

1.) If physicalism is true, then no physical world could contain P-Zombies
2.) It is possible for a physical world to contain P-Zombies
C.) Physicalism is false

It seems to eliminate itself by description, I.e. P2 is just plain impossible, but you do the usual shenanigans to justify the possibility...

P1 is just plain false.

Explain?