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Transcending  Zombies Pete Mandik Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy Coordinator, Cognitive Science Laboratory Wi...
Primary Goal <ul><li>To articulate a transcendental argument for the conclusion that my physical doppelganger cannot be a ...
Reductive Physicalism and Zombies <ul><li>Reductive Physicalism = A being maximally physically similar to me while numeric...
The Transcending Zombies Argument in Brief <ul><li>I know that I’m not a zombie. </li></ul><ul><li>If it’s possible to kno...
What’s SUCH-AND-SUCH? <ul><li>(A certain kind of) conceptualized egocentric content </li></ul>
What are concepts? <ul><li>Two working characterizations: </li></ul><ul><li>1. The knowledge we bring to bear in judgment ...
The Transcending Zombies Argument <ul><li>P1.  If it is possible for me to know that I am not a zombie, then phenomenal ch...
Remarks on premises 1, 3, & 4 <ul><li>P1.  If it is possible for me to know that I am not a zombie, then phenomenal charac...
P2: I know that I am not a zombie <ul><li>I know that I  am not a zombie </li></ul><ul><li>I know that  I  am not a zombie...
P2: I know that I am not a zombie (cont’d) <ul><li>Also following Lynch (2004), three reasons for P2: </li></ul><ul><li>At...
P1, Part One: Phenomenal Knowledge requires Conceptual Content <ul><li>The story of George and the rock: </li></ul>If Geor...
P1, Part One: Phenomenal Knowledge requires Conceptual Content (cont’d) <ul><li>The story of George and the rock: </li></u...
P1, Part One: Phenomenal Knowledge requires Conceptual Content (cont’d) <ul><li>The story of Pete and his qualia: </li></u...
P1, Part One: Phenomenal Knowledge requires Conceptual Content (cont’d) <ul><li>The story of Pete and his qualia: </li></u...
P1, Part Two: Phenomenal Knowledge requires Egocentricity <ul><li>Egocentric content  = the content of mental states conce...
P1, Part Two: Phenomenal Knowledge requires Egocentricity (cont’d) <ul><li>The story of Pete and his qualia (cont’d): </li...
P1, Part Three: Conceptualized Egocentric Content is Phenomenal Character <ul><li>The previous arguments showed </li></ul>...
P1, Part Three: Conceptualized Egocentric Content is Phenomenal Character (cont’d) <ul><li>So far, PK    (CE    P) </li...
P1, Part Three: Conceptualized Egocentric Content is Phenomenal Character (cont’d) <ul><li>Beyond Isomorphism: Identity </...
P1, Part Three: Conceptualized Egocentric Content is Phenomenal Character (cont’d) <ul><li>Preliminary reasons why, unlike...
P4: My Physical Properties Fix My Conceptualized and Egocentric Contents <ul><li>Conceptual contents alone do not suffice ...
P4: My Physical Properties Fix My Conceptualized and Egocentric Contents (cont’d) <ul><li>Arguments to the contrary presup...
Conceptualism, Part One: Explaining Appearances <ul><li>What needs to be explained: How can the dog seem blue to Jones eve...
Conceptualism, Part One: Explaining Appearances <ul><li>Compare: The Monty Hall Problem: How can keeping his door seem cor...
Conceptualism, Part One: Explaining Appearances <ul><li>In both cases, Jones has a disposition to make a judgment that he ...
Conceptualism, Part One: Explaining Appearances <ul><li>Jones’s as if blue dog experience = a reciprocally interacting pai...
Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Kelly Cases: colors discriminable in simult...
Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Kelly Cases: colors discriminable in simult...
Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Kelly Cases: colors discriminable in simult...
Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Kelly Cases: colors discriminable in simult...
Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Kelly Cases: colors discriminable in simult...
Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>My conceptualist explanatory strategy: </li...
Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Judgment-based models of Kelly cases: </li>...
Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Why would someone fail to judge that, (3) A...
Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Problems with  the Inferential-Failure opti...
Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Cashing out Information Deficiency </li></u...
Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Cashing out Information Deficiency </li></u...
Concluding summary <ul><li>If I know that I’m not a zombie, then phenomenal character is a certain kind of physicalistical...
<ul><li>THE END </li></ul>
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Transcending Zombies

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Transcript of "Transcending Zombies"

  1. 1. Transcending Zombies Pete Mandik Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy Coordinator, Cognitive Science Laboratory William Paterson University, New Jersey USA
  2. 2. Primary Goal <ul><li>To articulate a transcendental argument for the conclusion that my physical doppelganger cannot be a zombie. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Reductive Physicalism and Zombies <ul><li>Reductive Physicalism = A being maximally physically similar to me while numerically distinct must be phenomenally similar to me. </li></ul><ul><li>I’m not a zombie. </li></ul><ul><li>Reductive Physicalism = A being maximally physically similar to me while numerically distinct must not be a zombie. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Transcending Zombies Argument in Brief <ul><li>I know that I’m not a zombie. </li></ul><ul><li>If it’s possible to know that I’m not a zombie, then it’s necessary that qualia are such-and-such. </li></ul><ul><li>Fixing my physical properties fixes my such-and-such. </li></ul><ul><li>____ </li></ul><ul><li> Qualia are physical </li></ul>
  5. 5. What’s SUCH-AND-SUCH? <ul><li>(A certain kind of) conceptualized egocentric content </li></ul>
  6. 6. What are concepts? <ul><li>Two working characterizations: </li></ul><ul><li>1. The knowledge we bring to bear in judgment </li></ul><ul><li>(George judges dogs to be mammals  George has the concepts /dog/ and /mammal/  George knows stuff about dogs and mammals) </li></ul><ul><li>2. Mental particulars satisfying the re-identifiability criterion </li></ul><ul><li>(possessing concept C  the possessor is able to re-identify objects falling under C as such) </li></ul><ul><li>(George has /dog/  George is able to identify a dog as such on multiple occasions) </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Transcending Zombies Argument <ul><li>P1. If it is possible for me to know that I am not a zombie, then phenomenal character is (a certain kind of) conceptualized egocentric content. </li></ul><ul><li>P2. I know that I am not a zombie. </li></ul><ul><li>P3. Phenomenal character is (a certain kind of) conceptualized egocentric content. </li></ul><ul><li>P4. Fixing my physical properties fixes my conceptualized egocentric contents. </li></ul><ul><li>C. Fixing my physical properties fixes my phenomenal properties. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Remarks on premises 1, 3, & 4 <ul><li>P1. If it is possible for me to know that I am not a zombie, then phenomenal character has to be exhausted by (a certain kind of) conceptualized egocentric content. </li></ul><ul><li>P2. I know that I am not a zombie. </li></ul><ul><li>P3. Phenomenal character is exhausted by (a certain kind of) conceptualized egocentric content. </li></ul><ul><li>P4. Fixing my physical properties fixes my conceptualized egocentric contents. </li></ul><ul><li>C. Fixing my physical properties fixes my phenomenal properties. </li></ul><ul><li>P1: This is the biggie. Much will be said very soon on its behalf, including clarifications of the notions of conceptualized and egocentric contents used in P1, P3, and P4 </li></ul><ul><li>P3: Follows straightforwardly from P1 & P2. </li></ul><ul><li>P4: Further discussion must await the unpacking of “conceptualized” and “egocentric” </li></ul>
  9. 9. P2: I know that I am not a zombie <ul><li>I know that I am not a zombie </li></ul><ul><li>I know that I am not a zombie </li></ul><ul><li>Following Lynch (2004), I stipulate the equivalence of P2 to: </li></ul><ul><li>I am certain that I have some qualitatively conscious mental states now </li></ul>
  10. 10. P2: I know that I am not a zombie (cont’d) <ul><li>Also following Lynch (2004), three reasons for P2: </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to doubt P2 hurts your head, and head hurting is phenomenal </li></ul><ul><li>The falsity of P2 cannot be imagined </li></ul><ul><li>The “problem of consciousness” makes sense only if P2 </li></ul>
  11. 11. P1, Part One: Phenomenal Knowledge requires Conceptual Content <ul><li>The story of George and the rock: </li></ul>If George has the concepts /hard/ and /lumpy/ but not the concept /igneous/, then all George can know about the rock is that it is hard and lumpy and not that it is igneous. hard & lumpy! hard, lumpy, & igneous
  12. 12. P1, Part One: Phenomenal Knowledge requires Conceptual Content (cont’d) <ul><li>The story of George and the rock: </li></ul>Relative to George’s current conceptual repertoire, that the rock is igneous is unknowable. It is un-conceptualized residue. For all George knows, that rock is not igneous. hard & lumpy! hard, lumpy, & igneous
  13. 13. P1, Part One: Phenomenal Knowledge requires Conceptual Content (cont’d) <ul><li>The story of Pete and his qualia: </li></ul>If I know that I’m not a zombie, then my current mental states have a set of qualia, Q, such that I know that I have them and no member of which is un-conceptualized residue. Relative to my current qualia, my conceptual repertoire is fully adequate . Mmm, coffee-y! Self-known non-zombie
  14. 14. P1, Part One: Phenomenal Knowledge requires Conceptual Content (cont’d) <ul><li>The story of Pete and his qualia: </li></ul>If my current qualia are un-conceptualized residue, then for all I know I don’t have them. For all I know, I’m a zombie. Mmm, coffee-y! Self-known non-zombie
  15. 15. P1, Part Two: Phenomenal Knowledge requires Egocentricity <ul><li>Egocentric content = the content of mental states concerning the creature of which they are states </li></ul><ul><li>EXAMPLES: </li></ul><ul><li>My perceptual content of my coffee cup as being off to my left </li></ul><ul><li>Neural activations in one’s LGN code for luminance events in retinocentric space </li></ul>
  16. 16. P1, Part Two: Phenomenal Knowledge requires Egocentricity (cont’d) <ul><li>The story of Pete and his qualia (cont’d): </li></ul>If I’m incapable of representing my qualia as mine, then I can know that someone has qualia without knowing that it’s me. Whose coffee qualia are these? WTF!? Ignorant coffee fiend
  17. 17. P1, Part Three: Conceptualized Egocentric Content is Phenomenal Character <ul><li>The previous arguments showed </li></ul><ul><li>PK  (P  CE) </li></ul><ul><li>(where PK=Phenomenal Knowledge, P=Phenomenal Character, and CE = Conceptualized Egocentric Content) </li></ul><ul><li>Now consider whether </li></ul><ul><li>PK  (CE  P). </li></ul><ul><li>If [PK & (CE & ~P)], then I could have phenomenal knowledge even though all my judgments of the form “I have qualia Q” are false. </li></ul><ul><li>However, knowledge entails truth. </li></ul>
  18. 18. P1, Part Three: Conceptualized Egocentric Content is Phenomenal Character (cont’d) <ul><li>So far, PK  (CE  P) </li></ul><ul><li>If my current qualia are knowable by me, then my current conceptual repertoire must contain a structure isomorphic to my current qualia </li></ul>
  19. 19. P1, Part Three: Conceptualized Egocentric Content is Phenomenal Character (cont’d) <ul><li>Beyond Isomorphism: Identity </li></ul><ul><li>I want to argue that phenomenal character is not just isomorphic to, but identical to, a certain kind of conceptual content. </li></ul><ul><li>However, reflections on knowability alone will not establish this, otherwise George would have rocks in his head. </li></ul>
  20. 20. P1, Part Three: Conceptualized Egocentric Content is Phenomenal Character (cont’d) <ul><li>Preliminary reasons why, unlike rocks, qualia are made of concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Plausibly, at least some character is conceptual, e.g. the experience of experts </li></ul><ul><li>The concept-independence of rocks bears an explanatory burden unmatched by the concept-independence of qualia. (More later.) </li></ul><ul><li>Part of our rock concept is that they have a reality that outstrips their appearance, whereas /quale/ is an appearance concept (explicable in terms of epistemic appearances. More later.) </li></ul>
  21. 21. P4: My Physical Properties Fix My Conceptualized and Egocentric Contents <ul><li>Conceptual contents alone do not suffice for phenomenality </li></ul><ul><li>example: </li></ul><ul><li>unconscious object id </li></ul><ul><li>Egocentric contents alone do not suffice for phenomenality </li></ul><ul><li>examples: </li></ul><ul><li>visual agnosic’s “card posting” </li></ul><ul><li>LGN retinocentric neural codes </li></ul>
  22. 22. P4: My Physical Properties Fix My Conceptualized and Egocentric Contents (cont’d) <ul><li>Arguments to the contrary presuppose direct phenomenal concepts, which are the target of my “The Neurophilosophy of Subjectivity” </li></ul><ul><li>Brief remark: alleged concepts that can be had only while currently having a quale violate the re-identifiability criterion </li></ul>
  23. 23. Conceptualism, Part One: Explaining Appearances <ul><li>What needs to be explained: How can the dog seem blue to Jones even though he believes it’s white? </li></ul>
  24. 24. Conceptualism, Part One: Explaining Appearances <ul><li>Compare: The Monty Hall Problem: How can keeping his door seem correct to Jones even though he believes it’s incorrect? </li></ul>
  25. 25. Conceptualism, Part One: Explaining Appearances <ul><li>In both cases, Jones has a disposition to make a judgment that he overrides due to collateral information. </li></ul><ul><li>We still need, however, an explanation of the difference between Jones’s belief that the dog is white and his experience of it as if blue. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Conceptualism, Part One: Explaining Appearances <ul><li>Jones’s as if blue dog experience = a reciprocally interacting pairing of a sensation carrying egocentric blue dog information and a conceptualization of that information </li></ul><ul><li>Jones’s white dog belief = a conceptualization concerning a white dog </li></ul>011001 Blue dog White dog
  27. 27. Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Kelly Cases: colors discriminable in simultaneous but not serial presentations prima facie constitute violations of the re-identifiability criterion </li></ul>
  28. 28. Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Kelly Cases: colors discriminable in simultaneous but not serial presentations </li></ul>MASK!
  29. 29. Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Kelly Cases: colors discriminable in simultaneous but not serial presentations </li></ul>
  30. 30. Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Kelly Cases: colors discriminable in simultaneous but not serial presentations </li></ul>
  31. 31. Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Kelly Cases: colors discriminable in simultaneous but not serial presentations </li></ul>
  32. 32. Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>My conceptualist explanatory strategy: </li></ul><ul><li>Argue that the simultaneous and serial presentations differ in their perceptual contents. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Judgment-based models of Kelly cases: </li></ul><ul><li>A is F </li></ul><ul><li>B is not F </li></ul><ul><li>A  B </li></ul><ul><li>(where F is predicative and A and B are names, demonstatives, or descriptions) </li></ul><ul><li>In the simultaneous presentation, judgments 1, 2, and 3 are roughly simultaneous. In the serial presentation, 1 and 2 are temporally more spread out and 3 is withheld. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Why would someone fail to judge that, (3) A  B? </li></ul><ul><li>The Information Deficiency option: The subject fails to believe either (1) or (2) or both. </li></ul><ul><li>The Inferential-Failure option: The subject believes both (1) and (2) but nonetheless fails to infer (3) </li></ul>
  35. 35. Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Problems with the Inferential-Failure option. </li></ul><ul><li>Plausible explanations of inferential failure would appeal to either </li></ul><ul><li>The complexity of the premises, </li></ul><ul><li>The premises being believed but non-occurrently, or </li></ul><ul><li>The premises being believed but non-consciously </li></ul><ul><li>… none of which are particularly applicable to Kelly cases which involve non-complex, occurrent, conscious states. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Cashing out Information Deficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Memory Failure (E.g., it is forgotten that A is F ) </li></ul><ul><li>Problem: if /A/ is atomic and the first and fleeting representation of A, then it fails re-identifability. (And some may find implausible that it’s non-atomic.) </li></ul>
  37. 37. Conceptualism, Part Two: Explaining Diachronic-Discrimination Failures <ul><li>Cashing out Information Deficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Perceptual Failure (E.g., it was never consciously perceived in the first place that A is F ) </li></ul><ul><li>So, the simultaneous and serial presentations of stimuli are different contexts that give rise to differences in how stimuli are perceived. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Concluding summary <ul><li>If I know that I’m not a zombie, then phenomenal character is a certain kind of physicalistically reducible conceptual content. </li></ul>
  39. 39. <ul><li>THE END </li></ul>
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