• lambda
    76
    ... because the analogical inference for other minds fails.

    It is not just a weak inference based on one case. It is far worse than that. The inference is just nonsensical because it assumes a particular way of thinking about one's self in relation to the world that doesn't hold up to phenomenological scrutiny.

    The inference assumes that you exist as one of many human beings in an independent world and this particular human being 'has' experiences. The problem of other minds then becomes the issue of determining whether other human beings in this independent world have experiences like yourself.

    So the inference runs as follows: I am one of many human beings in an independent world and I have experiences. Therefore, every other human being in this independent world must have experiences like I do.

    But the problem here is that you are not a human being in an independent world. Because your body and the surrounding universe, where every other human being exists, is entirely constituted by your own experiences.

    Once you recognize that you are not a human being in an independently existing universe then the analogy for other minds is exposed as nonsensical.

    Furthermore, the human being you call ‘yourself’ – the one who appears at the center of the visual field – is recognized to be a p-zombie. Why? Because that human (the one who appears at the center of one's visual field) does not 'have' experiences at all (because that human being *just is* another experience) and a human being without experiences is a p-zombie, by definition.

    And, thus, a new analogy supplants the old one: the analogical inference for other p-zombies. The new analogy runs as follows: Since the human being at the center of one’s visual field – ‘myself’ – is a p-zombie, then other human beings are p-zombies as well.

    So this means everyone I know - including the human being I frequently identify as 'myself' - is a p-zombie.

    Discuss.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    If logical reasoning has led you to conclude that everyone around you is a "p-zombie," then you'd better abandon logical reasoning, because it's defective.

    Of course, what might be defective instead is that you're making an infantile conflation where you are not separating your experiences per se from what they're experiences of. You're assuming that they're experiences of themselves and not of something else, which makes a mess of the concept of "experience" in the first place.
  • lambda
    76
    I think abandoning logical reasoning is the better of the two options.
  • lambda
    76
    Hey, TS, your response reminds me of the Mormon fundamentalists I speak with every now and then.

    “If logical reasoning fails to establish that Joseph Smith was a prophet then so much the worse for logical reasoning.”

    You would fit in well with them. Have you spoken with missionaries yet? They could use someone like you.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Have you spoken with missionaries yet?lambda

    I go out of my way to speak with the females, sure.
  • Janus
    10.3k


    Logical reasoning, per se, cannot establish anything. What is believed to be established by valid logical reasoning is only ever as good as its starting presuppositions. If you are unhappy with the conclusion that everyone is a zombie, and you are confident that your reasoning is valid, then you'd do better to look at your presuppositions than to abandon the principles of valid reasoning.
  • m-theory
    1.1k
    But the problem here is that you are not a human being in an independent world. Because your body and the surrounding universe, where every other human being exists, is entirely constituted by your own experiences.lambda

    There is no way to prove this logically.

    If it were true there would be no way to prove anything logically.
    Exclusive self reference leads to an ill defined infinite regress.

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Self-Recursion.html
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/self-reference/

    If we can reach any logical conclusion then this means that in reality we are not restricted exclusively to self reference.

    That means that necessarily there is something which exists independently of our own minds.
  • jkop
    533

    Bullshit disguised as logic is worse than bullshit, it's fraud.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    That would have more impact if it were (potentially successfully) predictive rather than in error about history.
  • lambda
    76
    So can any of the p-zombies here refute anything I said in the OP?
  • Wayfarer
    12.6k
    I don't think it will ever be refuted by argument. It will take something other than that to do it.
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