Zombies and Simulation

Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (7-8):21-25 (2012)
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In his engaging and important paper David Chalmers argues that perhaps the best way to navigate the singularity is for us to integrate with the AI++ agents. One way we might be able to do that is via uploading, which is a process in which we create an exact digital duplicate of our brain. He argues that consciousness is an organizational invariant, which means that a simulation of that property would count as the real thing (a simulation of a computer is a computer, and so being a computer is an organizational invariant). If this is the case then we can rest assured that we will retain our consciousness inside such a simulation. In this commentary I will explore these ideas and their relation to philosophical zombies. I will argue that dualism could be true of the zombie world and that the conclusion of the standard zombie argument needs to be modified to deal with simulation. In short I argue that if one endorses biologism about consciousness then the conceivability of zombies is irrelevant to the physicalism/dualism debate



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Richard Brown
LaGuardia Community College (CUNY)

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