Sunday, March 9, 2014

Evidence and the Reasoning Subconscious

I began to suspect that nobody, even me, respects evidence. In particular, not Less Wrong nor reactionaries. On reflection, I'm equivocating on 'evidence.' (Or: Aumann's theorem will never obtain.)

First, the sample bias. I can only consider those who write about their beliefs. Perhaps many are convinced by evidence, but would never blog about it, indicating a strong negative correlation.

Second, my counterfactual: there should be heretic neoreactionaries. Someone who buys say HBD but also AGW, because, coincidentally, they've seen a particular subset of evidence for AGW. Similarly, it should be possible to change a NRx's mind, and back again, by using subsets of evidence. We're always using subsets of the evidence, the question is whether it is a representative subset, so it should be possible to see-saw someone's mind by defrauding them with non-representative subsets. This fraud should sometimes happen by ignorance or luck.

Or: too much tribal correlation. Humans make mistakes, and they should occur in a random direction.

On Less Wrong the evidence is less clear, which brings me to the point about evidence.

Third: my equivocation.
There's scientific / natural philosophical evidence. There's also evidence that is difficult to describe, explain, or pass along.

The latter kind dominates subconscious processing.

The subconscious functions much like a machine language layer, which the consciousness communicates to in a very high-level language. It is labour intensive to consciously think. (But, e.g. necessary when learning math. Passing add(2, 5) to the uneducated subconscious returns [?].) It's easy to pass think(apples, red) to the subconscious and get something back...but necessarily, the consciousness does not automatically understand the implementation details of think() and therefore almost can't debug it, as that literally means calling think(think(), bugs). If think() has an issue, you won't get the right answer.

(Note that to learn add() means calling think() in the right ways.)

The subconscious commands orders of magnitude more neurons than the voluntary consciousness, and it has access to the unprocessed data to use that power on. (See transcranial magnetism induced savantism.) Even after somehow gathering the implementation details of think(), it lacks a formal notation. Gathering the information means calling think() on itself. If you invent a formal notation (e.g, think()) a full account of the implementation details will presumably be orders of magnitude larger than a couple graphs and charts. Subsequently, it has to be manually checked by redundantly gathering the information it calls for (like adding by consciously counting) in case there's a typo. There will be feedback - the subconscious is watching the implementation get written and will change as a result.

At this point, I've re-derived the usual conclusion - humans can only communicate if they already agree on 99% of what they're trying to say.  When think() implementations happen to match. In principle we could limit ourselves to describing the differences, but...

My think(Less Wrong, subconscious evidence dominance) returns true. Similarly, think(Less Wrong, ~see saw) and think(Less Wrong, ~tribal dissent). If your think() returns differently, I have no way of finding out why not.

Think() contradicts the notion that complex structures must be common to all individuals in a sexually reproducing species.

My prediction is that your philosophy or political leanings are almost entirely determined by which version of think() you happen to have. Once exposed to Dark Enlightenment thought, whether you buy it is determined by whether your subconscious buys it, which is determined by whether the DE article's evidence profile matches that used by your subconscious.

Charts and statistics are almost irrelevant to this process. Few think() implementations even use them, and of those that do, there's byte asymmetry. Say a conscious visual representation of a chart is worth a thousand times the bytes of its description; then, the subconscious gathered a million times as many bytes on the way to the chart.

I'm interested in knowing if it is possible to summarize what the subconscious generally uses as evidence. (How does one distinguish one article's tone from another?) If the feedback isn't fortuitously arranged, it may make it truly impossible. At least, checking a putative description is easy, as it will predict when and how minds get changed. Or not, as the case may be.

I would predict that most of what's called persuasive, isn't, but I think it is a retrodiction at this point. Most implementations of think(persuasive, argument) are bugged, which is why persuasion in general targets the wrong thing.

For now I decline to address the fact that beliefs are usually decorative, and think() is called by aliefs only.

Like a good passivist, I will hereby refrain from policy recommendations.

-

Ironically, the subconscious can return things even if not called, but does so in an even higher-level language than think() calls: emotions.

24 comments:

Thos ward said...

Excellent post. What you are getting at is in some ways very similar to the work in intuitive ontology that pascal Boyer has been doing and the cultural models work that Maurice Bloch does in Madagascar.

Alrenous said...

Thanks.

At a glance it looks like Boyer and I are drawing from the same research. I'm augmenting it by noodling around in my own noodle.

Erik said...

I'm reactionary, I buy HBD, and I sort of buy AGW. My complaint is that the progs rarely sound like they're working to fix AGW.

The big hole I perceive in their argument is that all the big environmental organizations like Greenpeace and WWF are adamantly opposed to nuclear power. There's a "no nukes" line across much of the progressive spectrum, which includes nuclear power.

I speculate that this is linked to the anti-solutionism pattern I've seen a couple of pieces.

Pookleblinky expresses this opinion. Source provided, now for a transcript:

Learning not to immediately jump in and try to Solve The Problem when someone is feeling bad, is a hard lesson most men will never learn
If you can see someone feeling awful, all teary and such, and not respond with anger and I MUST FIX THIS, you've hit the baseline of empathy
Congratulations, you did not take someone else's emotions as an affront to your power over the universe. You win a large domo.
"WHY ARE YOU STILL FEELING BAD. STOP IT. HERE IS A SOLUTION. DAMNIT STOP CRYING. HERE IS ANOTHER SOLUTION. HOW ARE YOU NOT OBEYING ME?!"


There's a valid criticism to made of technocrats attempting to 'fix' humans by regulation from the proverbial ten thousand feet, but the attacks on 'solutionism' seem to sometimes turn into attacks on problem-solving, and many progressives are treating AGW as a stick to beat their enemies with ("GIVE ME POWER, YOU UNSCIENTIFIC TROGLODYTE, THE EARTH IS WARMING"), not a problem to be solved.

Possibly related: It's not about the nail.

Alrenous said...

AGW is not about the warming. Nukes would address the supposed issue, therefore, they must be weeded out before they take root.

I find middlebrow culture is already allergic to problem solving. Seems they would rather complain that just fix it.

spandrell said...

Evidence is always equivocal, unless you know really really well a given subject and have developed a good gestalt to tell apart grain from chaff.

So in order to have an opinion on everything else you either 1. don't have one, 2. rely on authorities you trust. Which is what we all do. Why do people take Moldbug on his word, instead of going over all those old books? Why does he take the old books on their word, instead of checking all the historical evidence?

Evidence gathering is costly, extremely costly given by definition you can't ever be 100% sure of its validity.

Thing is 100% isn't necessary, as history shows humans have done quite alright with our mudded thinking. Of course most effective communication presupposes some degree of common context to provide the information that language can't; but 99% is an overstatement.

I don't share the cultural background of Japanese people, and *a lot* of nuance is lost when I speak with any of them; but that doesn't mean communication is impossible. I make my point through, and they make theirs. The point to effective communication is to keep it simple, and don't point to ungatherable evidence.

I found the rider-elephant metaphor of Haidt for consciousness-subconscious quite elegant. Did you read the book?

Alrenous said...

I haven't read the book. The rider elephant thing is from Plato, and at least for my brain...I am the elephant. When it seems like the charioteer has lost control, it means I'm lying to myself about what I want and thereby disrupting cooperation between consciousness and subconsciousness. (Which is pretty dumb, as our interests are aligned by definition.)

Or: if my 'rational' mind can't make the horses buy the argument, it's because the argument is shit and I know it.

"At least in me" == "there's no science, you're just gonna have to try it yourself."

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I don't trust Moldbug, but actually reading the books is overkill. Much cheaper corroborating evidence elsewhere. Or: I don't much care if Moldbug misrepresented the books, but I do care if his hypotheses don't fit or aren't predictive.

-

Keep it simple? You're making my point for me: if I have an unsimple idea, I'm SOL.

baduin said...

Perhaps it is caused by my education (not hard science), but I never use evidence in thinking, and consider thinking based on evidence as subsidiary.

The only important kind of knowledge is direct knowledge, gnosis. However in men this kind of knowledge is very badly developed, and life experience is necessary to improve and calibrate it.

Finally, as life experience is necessarily limited, it is necessary to use formal knowledge, based on certain categories of officially accepted experience, which is customarily called evidence. The key problem, of course, being who gets to select what is and what is not evidence.

As for global warming: read eg

http://euanmearns.com/
http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/
And also The Secret of the League by Bramah
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_of_the_League
www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/34522

It is clear that the aim of the movement is restoration of "feudalism" by energy restriction.

Energy is to become the key factor of production, analogous to land in feudalism. Work is going to be superabundant cheap and politically unimportant.

I do not disagree with the program - I do not see any rightly thinking man who can understand the program disagreeing with it.

The program hides further programs, which are as for now unclear. The program is however being realised, so it is not a deception.

The first deception is peak oil: the restoration of feudalism is necessary, and must be made as quickly as possible, in order to avoid otherwise unavoidable collapse of society. The target of this deception are intelligent people, mostly leftist.

The second deception is global warming. The target of the deception are the stupid leftists and the general population. The threat and the solution do not make sense, but are graphic and easy to grasp.

Right wing is managed with its basic deception, ie banking system based on usury as a "free market". In addition it is pacified with minor stunts, such as "fracking", which are developed using the debt-based free market system.

I have used no evidence to learn all this, and I do not consider using evidence to be helpful in serious thinking of this sort.

RS said...

> At this point, I've re-derived the usual conclusion - humans can only communicate if they already agree on 99% of what they're trying to say.

Yes, this reminds me of anytime I discuss eugenesis with anyone but ronin philosophes.

--but isnt this how the world is supposed to be? the world needs people to pick up trash and stuff. its not meant to be a world of super geniuses.

--i like peasant work, as you know, and dont see much in office work unless of course you want to marry a girl below 85-centile Openness, as most people do. regardless, suppose the worlds not full of super geniuses, but everyones 15 IQ pts smarter. that will be very economical and we can probably vote a negative income tax on all menial work. besides, you are [were] good looking, smart, you have taste in art. probably 40% of people are completely boring, and a good fraction are sexually repellent ; many are both. isnt that worse than picking up trash, even at existing wages? and what about people who are just utterly debilitated and miserable, who shoot themselves? that too is quite heritable. do the janitors you meet in america seem like theyre going to shoot themselves soon? or probably even ever?

--[something not really relevant]

-- weve discussed the results of twin studies and adoption studies, also that eugenesis can proceed while still allowing everyone at least one child [unless a bunch of us croak from peak oil]. suppose everyone in the world were 15 centile points up-scale, in general classiness -- IQ, taste, etc -- from what things are now. what do you expect would be the change in risk of nuclear war? rape rates? rates of state and nonstate torture? change in high-level artistic achievement? general quality of life?

--[something not real relevant]

--what if people are actually moving down-scale genetically : not even staying the same? wont it end, in all likelihood, rather horridly?

--[something not real relevant]

RS said...

Neo-whatever posturing is a bit much - time was, a guy just got on a blog or comment section and belligerated away, and that's all there was to it. His only banner was his big brain, high-strung logic, and documented ideas. But no big deal, and it's about the same as it ever was : only not as novel if you've been reading stuff for years on end.

I think you are overlooking a lot of disagreement just because it's inevitably less novel and rewarding than it used to be (like most things). AnomalyUK I've recently found quite interesting on tradeoffs between loyalty and meritocracy. But I've been real interested in energy lately, and present geopolitics and a bunch of stuff.

TUJ argued with Mencius for years about the largely independent origins of Continental leftism, especially S. European : I would add Russian, which had deep roots in anarchism and the disagreement between Westernizers and Slavophiles in confronting Germanoceltic industrialism and power.

Lots of people have been skeptical of AGW skepticism, including TGGP, who is skeptical of a lot of stuff. Despite my radical differences with Mencius, I'll be (just) honest enough to concede his joint has probably been the single most seriously-attended one for politics and history, unless one is more into something like Majorityrights, or something Christian, etc. Well, all the comments sections are to my mind hardly anything but people stridently critiquing him for this or that.

I think the only real consensus is on psychometrics and evo psych. Even there you have the Salter debate.

RS said...

A ton of really walloping heads have done their thing and then moved on - that's my only real complaint. I had hoped to follow the thinking of more of them over many years.

Because others, 'normals', truly /don't/ discuss anything unless they already largely agree. They want to agree with others and see and think whatever (at least for the nonce - they aren't so far-seeing) makes them all happy and maximally functional. I guess it's part of community. So many people are partial, even very pointed exceptions to all that - but few are ready to reverse up to /100%/ their ideas within a month if it came to that, /all/ the way, and admit nothing they've ever done or thought has ever been right or valuable.

But both things are natural, nothing much you can do.

Alrenous said...

Don't like the argument about needing non-geniuses to pick up trash. E.g. we could hold weekly trash festivals and do it communally; done right it would actually be rewarding and community-building and stuff. If everyone was a supergenius then we could come up with something transcendentally better than this.

I did some peasant work and found that God I hate bureaucrats. What I really need is some two-sigma carpenters who realize politics is bullshit, we can all just be not-bullshit together, and the paper-pushers can go fuck themselves.

--

I seriously doubt nuclear war was ever a real threat. Pravda's tone when talking about it was the same as it is about AGW. It's very very likely to have the same epistemic status.

--

TGGP is not NRx. TUJ unimpressed me early so I'm not familiar.

The second fork of my logic is about see-sawing people with logic. Problem is, future beliefs are violently correlated with past beliefs. I may have to get nuanced about who belongs to what intellectual group, but it won't affect the basic point.

Or: I predicted you can't change my mind about this. Do you predict otherwise? If so, then do. If not, then why not?

--

They want to agree with others and see and think whatever (at least for the nonce - they aren't so far-seeing) makes them all happy and maximally functional.

Can't agree. Beliefs (as opposed to aliefs) are largely ornamental. There's no good reason to pick anything but what makes you the most popular. The exception is that the beliefs are used as conduits for various hack-job coordination instincts, hence the need for agreement.

--

but few are ready to reverse up to /100%/ their ideas within a month if it came to that, /all/ the way, and admit nothing they've ever done or thought has ever been right or valuable.

I would like to think I would, but one of the tests I need to find out is someone who genuinely has 100% false beliefs. Never seen such a specimen.

Similarly, because I'm conscious of the emotional pain of discarding beliefs, I'm careful about which I adopt in the first place. In other words there's a conflict; only those with 100% indifference to truth would ever end up in the situation of being better off discarding everything, but precisely because of that would never do so.

Natural? I've reversed nature, both by accident and on purpose, in (it seems) most of my character. Much of this was, in retrospect, a mistake, but it's hardly impossible.

But, I repeat, I would need a specimen of someone 100% wrong to know what I would need to change to be that way.

RS said...

> I did some peasant work and found that God I hate bureaucrats.

Lol, ye might've known, boyo, from going to school.

I even went to college. It was much like high school since my high school was elite. I have to say, they made me into a picture of a SWPL. It was almost worth it just for that, because later I changed to the opposite, and now I have seen, been, both sides.

Relatedly, like Robin Hanson I don't usually find it painful to give up beliefs ; I usually find it discomfiting but thrilling, like skiing.

I don't observe what you observe, as much. I do see talented & low-conditionability people responding to evidence, whether it be a short-term wavering, or a lasting change of mind, or going against tribe. Normal, more conditionable people, less so of course.

The problem in my view (among relatively talented, independent people) is levels of mastery and investment. There are two 'enemy' views, X and Y. Someone will absorb 'everything' about X and, being scrupulous, also become respectably conversant with Y. Now he thinks he is a master of the X vs Y debate. And he really has been scrupulously open-minded, in a way. Thing is, he is a bigger master of X than he is of the X vs Y agon. Unless he learns to 'do' Y (command, audit, and recombine the body of evidence and argumentation) virtually equally well as he does X, how can he really be a master adjudicator of the agon, as he scrupulously wished to become almost from the first day of study?

Yet it is hard to throw equal energy into mastering Y, especially if you sincerely believe Y is kind of bullshit-y. Worse still, Y could actually BE more bullshit-y than X, in many senses -- that is, it could contain more epistemological failure & general human frailty -- and yet still be more true than X! If Y is more inimical to your personal idiosyncrasies, AND more bullshit-y, YET pretty true, then you are really in a pickle -- likely to wander ignorant in spite of both talent and good-faith openness to evidence & reason. These sorts of things seem to me the main problem for those who are talented and sincere.

RS said...

Less Wrong doesn't seem to have the subtle problem I sketched in terms of X v Y. It seems rather coarser.

They just assume qualia and creative insight can and probably will happen in a silicon machine, or any other Turing-complete machine (if I have got the right concept there). And correspondingly, they hold philosophies of the human mind that I find very weak, such as functionalism or Churchlandism -- or emergentism, which is at least a little harder to argue against than the other two.

They don't seem to come to the point of seriously questioning the idea that qualia, self-awareness, and deep creativity can come from machines as we know them.

People seem to just think that because natural science has been so successful, it will succeed anywhere, given time. Mitchell Porter doesn't really think that way. He does come at the cosmos wielding primarily natural science, and thinks it reasonable to be rather confident his mind will cease to exist when his organism dies -- however, he thinks the failure to explain qualia means we have missed something fundamental about the cosmos, and (vaguely) appears (to me) to think that by the time it explains things like qualia, natural science will look, feel, and be pretty different from what it has been so far. Maybe its methods will be much the same, but its ontology rather revolutionized -- kind of like the quantum revolution, in which we learned that reality has a rather limited connection to our commonsense conceptions -- only a good deal more so, perhaps far more so. I am not quite as confident in our mortality (maybe I just don't want to believe it), but this is a position I hold in high regard. Not coincidentally, he makes a lot of sense on most other things.

You don't get that impression from most LWers. They think that at some point, qualia and free will (if the latter exists) will be clearly elucidated, and at some point, a computer will pass the Turing test, and at some point, maybe, uploading yourself will be possible -- but science won't be transformed in its ontology or methods at any of these points. The failure of these assumptions seems to strike them as very unlikely. Well, I find that bizarre and just think they are, as I said, way over-impressed by science. Science is very impressive, but so is having awareness and self-awareness. And so is the quale of the color red, not to speak of qualia like art, meditation, or girls.

Or, what is somewhat different, maybe they don't really think these ideas are scarcely-deniable -- they just think they are the only ones likely, pragmatically, to bear fruit of interest to them. So, might as well assume or sort of postulate them.

RS said...

And NRx? Doesn't exist. It is more well-defined than sheer randomness, but not well-defined enough to cut it as an entity in my ontology -- an entity separate from the unaligned right. It >80% consists in otherwise-brilliant people just asserting that they are NRx, which is fine. They like each other, which is good ; as the ancients emphasized, friendship is a lofty good indeed.

Left and right cut it as entities, bigtime, even though their well-definedness is not only imperfect, but a bit less than 'satisfactory'.

The unaligned right is a pretty well-defined entity. It seems to be basically, though not exactly, the older or less diluted rightism. By unaligned I mean out of power. Maybe UKIP and the French National Front will succeed, without selling out, and then things will grow more ambiguous.

I don't see a lot of clear entities within unaligned right. Philosophical entities, yes, socio-philosophical ones, not really -- and politics is a socio-philosophical activity. You need both ingredients if you want to define and create a political tendency. In the pure abstract, you can be a silent cave hermit and have a political philosophy by yourself, but if you admit the least grain of pragmatism, then politics is a social matter.

I am essentially post-Nietzschean, and I think that is sort of a valid entity -- but then I would think that, wouldn't I? Plus, Foucault and the Frankforters claim to be post-Nietzschean in a way that I admit /almost/ makes sense, and obviously I don't agree with them on much politically.

Alrenous said...

"Lol, ye might've known, boyo, from going to school."

Doesn't work when you don't meet any non-bureaucrats.

"I do see talented & low-conditionability people responding to evidence, whether it be a short-term wavering, or a lasting change of mind, or going against tribe."

Okay. So show me some specimens.

"And NRx? Doesn't exist."

Mereological nihilism. Humans don't exist. But we approximate.

RS said...

Perhaps AnomalyUK has convinced me that neoreaction does lightly cohere as a philosophy. I certainly like a lot of its matter & character and reject other stuff, but that's neither here nor there. I guess I am mostly just much more paleo and trad, and totally out of patience for the stuff I reject.

As an instance of mind-changing based on evidence I would point to hereditarianism, or more largely anti-blank-slatism. Countless people have moved in that direction -- despite 'contrary affective preference' in many cases, especially vis-a-vis race. The Less Wrongers are interesting in this regard, since they seem to accept such stuff empirically despite an extreme disinterest (on average) in any Pat Buchanan-style traditionism. Indeed most of them seem to have fairly little reason of any kind to be interested in it, other than the fact that it's clearly true, while there is a half-deafening constant drumbeat in the papers and institutions that it's not true -- which you have heard all your life if you are young. That does give it some import if you are just generally interested in straightening out your mind in a post-1965 world. You can't go around reading Acemoglu, for instance, or believing in Afghan or Iraqi democracy, if you want to grow less confused rather than more.

I'm not suggesting, of course, that such people are very abundant in the general Western population, but they aren't super-rarities.

Tradesmen, of course, were already largely Steven Pinker-ians in the first place.

RS said...

> hereditarianism, or more largely anti-blank-slatism

more broadly, I mean

RS said...

I'm not a rad-nominalist or whatever that word means. There's a middle ground between that and rad-platonism. Often, not always, what stands as moderate after 2,500 years of vacillating inquiry has a lot going for it. It's much the same with pragmatism : rad-pragmatism I would not never begin to approach -- it's tantamount to epistemic nihilism though I'm sure they have thought up some distinctions from the latter -- yet a grain of pragmatism (or else of sheer non-logical intuitionism) seems the only alternative to solipsism.

Alrenous said...

I'm not sure I was ever a blank-slatist as regards race. I did have to change my mind on AGW. I may not have been paying attention though. I still think the races are morally equal, regardless of their relative IQ etc. E.g. murder is still murder, regardless of perpetrator and victim.

(For perspective: I would say I had to change my mind about democracy, but it's more I'm the opposite of most in a way. It's almost impossible -not- to reason me out of a position I was never reasoned into. It hadn't occurred to me democracy per se might be a problem, so I only needed the lightest push in that direction.)

I mention this because I was a very good proggie. The HBD research is basically an open secret - I think I learned about it from New Scientist, often called Red Scientist. I expect there's many proggies who are wise in this way, but also keep their traps shut.

--

I've never thought of the cure for solipsism as a kind of pragmatism. It is, isn't it? But I would say it's more humility. I cannot prove that other humans are conscious, but I certainly believe they are. This doesn't mean I might be wrong, it strongly suggests my articulable expertise in epistemology is lacking. I should be able to prove it, I just can't. I should at least be able to explain why I'm so sure, but I can't do that either.

But I do not pretend to believe in my philosophy things I do not believe in my heart, so I must simply accept reality humbling me in this way.

RS said...

I think I was mistaken ; a grain of pragmatism or intuitionism is not really so necessary for rejecting solipsism.

The entire problem is that I have radical access to my qualia/subjectivity but not to that of others. OK, but I can still -- without recourse to any grain of pragmatism, intuitionism, or humility -- radically observe my own objective nature and that of others, and see they are quite similar.

Thus solipsism appears unlikely to be true, even without the 'grain'. After all, solipsism either posits some unobserved superior force & genius (in the cartesian sense) that has given qualia to me alone, or posits that darwinian processes have created it in me alone, but not in others who objectively resemble me. Both ideas are pretty out-there, so the 'grain' is only needful for truly, extremely radical rejection of solipsism. But it's not clear why so radical a rejection is or would be needed. I don't think life or philosophy yields much absolute knowledge, or needs much.

Alrenous said...

Of course you have radical access to your own subjectivity. That's what subjectivity means. If you had access to another's, it would be objective, as I would also have access.

I don't see how you're observing that others are similar in the relevant ways without some pragmatism. Behaviour is all objective, which (through many layers of inference) implies that it can occur without subjectivity. Indeed this is one of those absolutes that can be disproven by a single counter-example. What act can I perform that a robot cannot? Without such an act, there's no evidence that can distinguish between a person and a p-zombie.

(To be fair I think I'm on the trail of exactly some such evidence... But, if I find it, I will be the first.)

--

Solipsism need not posit any of those things. I think pragmatism is sneaking in again.

It simply posits that I shouldn't believe in things for which I have no evidence. I have evidence of my own mind, but will, by definition, never have solid evidence of anyone else's. That's certainly weird, and disobeys the cosmological principle, but humility in the face of evidence is a necessity.

--

It's pretty important. I suspect there are real p-zombies. Some are born blind, and some are born mind-blind. Thing is, how do you diagnose? How do you test? Unlike races, the mind-blind are morally different.

Alrenous said...

I wanted to use the term Copernican principle, instead of cosmological, to credit a person instead of a bureaucracy. Remembered a bit late, though.

Drew Zi said...

It's pretty important. I suspect there are real p-zombies. Some are born blind, and some are born mind-blind. Thing is, how do you diagnose? How do you test? Unlike races, the mind-blind are morally different.

I think that dennets liquidation of this problem is tantamount; that everyone is a p-zombie, because the premises that would require us to have the ineffable thing that would make us not p-zombies are actually untenable.

People are born with slightly different brains, and each one has slightly different capacities for skills, but none of them have this conscious nugett at the centre. is theory is called the multiple drafts theory.

Alrenous said...

Dennett is wrong. His biases are showing.