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The Opposite of the Philosophical Zombie

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7/23/2014 3:52:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The philosophical zombie argument is often cited as a reason why we can never reliably determine consciousness from the physical world.

Here's the opposite of the philosophical zombie argument, Matter as a Completely Passive yet Conscious Recipient

What if there was a lone molecule in a rock, it looked exactly like any other such molecule in a rock. An abundance of the same type of molecule was to be found in the same type of rock.

Yet unlike its neighbors anytime the molecule was perturbed by a physical reaction it experienced a certain color (or smell or sound or insert any sensation here) associated with that. It couldn't actually do anything about it and didn't remember anything, but it experienced it happen for that given moment.

How would we ever detect that the molecule in question was conscious?

How do we know all molecules (and atoms) aren't conscious in such a way?

If consciousness is physical then it should be explainable why some things are conscious and others are not by referring to the physical properties of matter in the brain and pointing out what it has versus what other things don't. Even if it's an emergent phenomenon then likewise the ensemble of matter in the brain should be comparable to other ensembles and the differences explained to demonstrate clearly why the interactions in the brain give rise to consciousness and in the other cases they don't.