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Q_the_Enchanter comments on Zombies: The Movie - Less Wrong

72 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 20 April 2008 05:53AM

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Comment author: Q_the_Enchanter 20 April 2008 01:44:59PM 6 points [-]

Best exchange:

GENERAL FRED: Are you sure?

SCIENTIST: As sure as we can be in the total absence of evidence.


Tanasije Gjorgoski, I don't quite understand the argument. Science doesn't "a priori deduce facts." It generates and tests explanatory structures that purport to account for observed regularities. Physicalism (ontological naturalism) isn't an a priori theory of scientific methodology; it's an induction from the success of the scientific project. (Science generally proceeds within a physicalist framework because physicalism has worked well, whereas its competitors haven't. Operationally, this means that when scientists grapple with the phenomenon, the presumption is that whatever scientific explanation there is to be had resides within the physicalist framework.) The zombie argument, then, is an a priori argument that seeks to defeat this induction over the phenomenon of consciousness.