Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

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Greta
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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Greta » October 22nd, 2017, 2:20 am

A couple of questions:

if one lived inside of a larger conscious system, how might one know?

How might living within something that is conscious differ to living within something that is merely alive or reactive?

I don't ask this to make a point, just that I'm curious as to what others might think because I'm not sure I know how to tell the difference, especially given the much discussed problem of other minds at our scale, let alone at larger, encompassing ones.

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Chili » October 22nd, 2017, 10:00 am

From Descartes to modern sci-fi, the point is often made that one is not in a position to say anything definitive about what one is *inside* of.

One will wonder how one's consciousness per se could come into existence, unless some kind of consciousness was an attribute or ability of whatever lies beyond the known self.

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Wayne92587 » October 22nd, 2017, 11:51 am

Consul what do you mean by MERE Possibility.


I do not care how scientific a person might be, he needs to recognize that Language, because we speak using metaphors, Symbols, Numbers, myth, is just so much babel.

I believe that the use of Language began with the use of numbers.

A mere Animal s not the Supreme Being, is not the Ultimate Survivor.

Having been born naked, make the "Bare" ass naked, "less" than a mere Animal, Animal Man is required to be Consciousness in order to become the Ultimate Survivor.

Consciousness is not born of Materiality, is not an effect, is an affect, a Creation, is not born or ordinary means, cause and effect; Consciousness is uncaused, is a creation, an affect, has no single direct material cause.

In order Man to survive, Man according to specification was simply born to die, Survival requiring man to be come more than a mere animal, to become an Immortal Being, an animal with the head of a God.

The Immortal Spirit of God had to be breathed into Man's nostrils, God became and Immortal Being, Soul, Man being created in the Image of God, there being only a mere possibility for Man to also become and Immortal being, the Ultimate Survivor.

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Solatic » October 22nd, 2017, 12:43 pm

Concerning the hard problem, in measures where we are conscious, in other measures we are not. Let us say, there are four nodes in the mind. You can only be actively conscious in 2 nodes at a time, and to be actively conscious in 4 nodes, is only to be halfway conscious in all. What if the unconscious part of us, is largely determined by what we store into our minds consciously, which makes us to be what we are as an identity the next day. And if our unconscious is determined by what we deal out consciously, then does free-will only exist while conscious? And to say, as part of the question. What if we were filled in with consciousness without any unconsciousness at all, does that mean we would have achieved absolute free-will? And also, if consciousness is to free-will as much as unconsciousness is to determinism, then can one exist without the other?

I've sternly believed for awhile now, that free-will versus determinism has always been that of the mind, and when discussing mind, the highest point which is always achieved is the ability to choose what you believe. Even if what you believe is not set in stone.

This in all, P-Zombies can exist, we all can be one at one point or another. As long as we are subjected to something without any hopes for release, but like anything, things always change. And our choices and outlooks with them.

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Atreyu » October 23rd, 2017, 6:37 pm

Greta wrote:A couple of questions:

if one lived inside of a larger conscious system, how might one know?

How might living within something that is conscious differ to living within something that is merely alive or reactive?

I don't ask this to make a point, just that I'm curious as to what others might think because I'm not sure I know how to tell the difference, especially given the much discussed problem of other minds at our scale, let alone at larger, encompassing ones.
One would not know. Just as the cells of your body cannot know that they live inside a larger conscious system, we cannot know if the Earth is a conscious system, or the Milky Way, or the Universe as a whole.

But I would argue that it's a more likely scenario, by far...

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Togo1 » October 23rd, 2017, 8:56 pm

Chili wrote:Reductive physicalism is the ideal of how science works.
Not quite. As a point of methodology, you want the simplist possible explanation that fits the facts. That may mean reducing apparently complex systems to simple ones, or it may mean using only one kind of substance rather than two. However, it doesn't mean that substances don't have differences, or that you can ignore the complexities of a system to cram it into the simple model you think it ought to be.

In this case, you very much want to reduce the brain and behaviour to a system that fits a simple mechanistic epistomology, that even physics doesn't follow any more. The problem is science doesn't support this. It has a reductionist methdology, but it doesn't make judgements on epistomology. It can tell you what approach to use, but not what the end answer will be. For that you have to follow the results, wherever they lead. In insisting that science supports reductive physicalism, you're confusing these two concepts.

The second problem is that you're introducing bias, by insisting that your preconceptions about how the universe work should be incorporated into any explanation of the brain. Hence my comment about your two statements.

No one is stopping you coming up with an entirely determinist model of the brain. Go right ahead. Plenty of scientists have tried and failed - most of the really spectacular failures in psychology have come from attempts to do this. But please understand that when scientists get a complex pattern of results that don't really fit a determinist model, they're going to model their experimental results, and ignore trying to force fit it to a determinist universe.

The third problem is that determinism doesn't really work as the basis for science in particular. We've not talked about that much as yet, but it's a philosophical topic that fits in well with discussion of P-Zombies. I'll try and start a new topic for it.

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Chili » October 23rd, 2017, 9:19 pm

I was struggling a bit to try to describe reductionism in terms of occam's razor.
In this case, you very much want to reduce the brain and behaviour to a system that fits a simple mechanistic epistomology, that even physics doesn't follow any more.


Quantum physics has frustrated the impulse, but at larger scales, "the brain and behavior" do indeed fit a "simple mechanistic" model.
For that you have to follow the results, wherever they lead.


I've frequently put in lots of caveats about quantum physics. To the extent that science fails to find reductionist models, it continues to look for them, whenever possible. The quantum alternatives, with dice being rolled under the table, don't really appear as working models except of the most statistical kind.

Reductionist modeling of the brain marches on. Of course it must stop at the quantum scale, but there does not appear to be much down there that is encouraging in terms of modeling. I know that Penrose is trying to find something - some kind of quantum interface to a quantum consciousness - but so far these attempts have failed.

I'm happy to see whatever you have to say, but, nobody is "force-fitting" anything. Complex patterns of results generally result from an underlying complexity in the number and interaction of the constituent pieces. You get as close as you can with whatever limitations of information you have. That's not force-fitting anything, and it isn't assuming anything.

If you can add some specifics to your overview, that will be interesting.

To my knowledge, there are experimental results supportive of reductionism, and experimental results supportive of nonlocal quantum oddness. There aren't really other ways to go, now are there. If you disagree, please cite some specifics.

Bohmian mechanics posits that photons do indeed have specific positions and momenta.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-bohm/

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Togo1 » October 23rd, 2017, 9:51 pm

Chili wrote:I was struggling a bit to try to describe reductionism in terms of occam's razor.
They're different. Occam's razor is the principle that an explanation ought to be done on as simple a basis as possible. Reductionism is the idea that the universe is best understood as being made up of simple parts. One is methodology, describing how to proceed, the other an epistomology, saying how the universe fundamentally is.
Chili wrote:Quantum physics has frustrated the impulse, but at larger scales, "the brain and behavior" do indeed fit a "simple mechanistic" model.
They really don't. If you have such a model, cite it.
Chili wrote:
For that you have to follow the results, wherever they lead.

I've frequently put in lots of caveats about quantum physics. To the extent that science fails to find reductionist models, it continues to look for them, whenever possible. The quantum alternatives, with dice being rolled under the table, don't really appear as working models except of the most statistical kind.
That's an entirely fair view to have, but it's one that actual particle physicists don't tend to share. Much of the work at CERN works very well with quantum models, and sucessfully predicts and explains the results they are getting.

You're trying to treat determinism as some kind of 'god of the gaps' hypothesis. Determinism is the thesis that the universe works in a particular way. Quantum physics doesn't tell us that we live in a determinist universe with caveats, it tells us that determinism is false. That the universe, is not, in fact, a determinist universe.
Chili wrote:Reductionist modeling of the brain marches on.
Can you give an example?
Chili wrote:I'm happy to see whatever you have to say, but, nobody is "force-fitting" anything.
If you're saying that consciousness can't appear in a scientific model because it doesn't fit your conception of how the universe works, then you're forcing fitting the model onto your conception of how the universe works.
Chili wrote:If you can add some specifics to your overview, that will be interesting.
What are you after?
Chili wrote:To my knowledge, there are experimental results supportive of reductionism,
I donb't understand what that could possibly mean, based on the meaning of the terms employed. Which is interesting. Are we talking past each other here?

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Chili » October 23rd, 2017, 10:53 pm

Togo1 wrote:
Chili wrote:Quantum physics has frustrated the impulse, but at larger scales, "the brain and behavior" do indeed fit a "simple mechanistic" model.
They really don't. If you have such a model, cite it.
You gotta brain problem - you go to a doctor. He uses reductionist models as much as possible, even though there are things that work without science knowing exactly why or how at this point. Mood & concentration can be enhanced by modifying brain chemistry, or circulation in the brain. Classic chemistry and fluid dynamics are used to put chemicals in, to take chemicals out, and to reach in with metal tools and remove tumors. Nothing that happens physically to the brain during these procedures surprises the trained reductionists in the hospital. Voila. And Neuroscience marches on, understanding of particular types of neurons, areas of the brain, neurotransmitters, all interacting locally with one another, not requiring (much) quantum physics in the modeling or the implementation. This field is basically using Newtonian physics, because that's the world we live in at the scale in which most elements of our lives exist.
Quantum physics doesn't tell us that we live in a determinist universe with caveats, it tells us that determinism is false. That the universe, is not, in fact, a determinist universe.


Quantum physics is not a deterministic theory. It does not tell us that determinism is true. That doesn't mean QM is "telling us determinism is false". Determinism really amounts to the simple logic that if something happens, it is because it had a cause. Really, everyone believes this. Quantum complications just push our understanding of the causes out some distance from where we would like them to be. Anyhow, read this. I thought it was pretty good.
http://mathpages.com/rr/s9-06/9-06.htm
If you're saying that consciousness can't appear in a scientific model because it doesn't fit your conception of how the universe works, then you're forcing fitting the model onto your conception of how the universe works.


Consciousness is in the eye of the beholder. Or consciousness is everywhere. The point is that subjectivity cannot be demonstrated objectively to exist, and this is not any kind of forcing anything into a concept or definition. Humanity has always imagined conscious agency to dwell in the cracks wherever mechanisms were not known.

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Wayne92587 » October 24th, 2017, 6:22 pm

Consciousness exists as a Chaotic State of calmness.

In order to be conscious you must me open minded, in other words your mind must be Blank, Empty, uninhibited, you can not be conscious and be biased, agitated.

Consciousness has the ability to bring a System of Chaos to Order; Motion within a System of Chaos having displacement, angular momentum, velocity of Speed and Direction.

The Whole of Reality, the Heavens and the Earth, the Universe, everything that exists in the Material sense of the word is born of Freedom of Motion, an orderly system of Chaos.

A System of Chaos being born of Stillness; the mind must active but without displacement, angular momentum, velocity of speed and direction, empty, void, Free.

Activity of the Mind must be meaningless, have no angular momentum, no, displacement, no velocity as to speed and direction.

Consciousness is born of need, necessity; Conscious is necessary for the survival of Mankind, he and she, Consciousness allowing man to being the Chaos of the Material World of Reality to Order, which would include the sins of Mankind.

Having missed the mark on numerous occasions Man’s only Hope is to bring the Chaos of the Mind, which is born of Illusion, to order.

You can not think, be conscious, if the mind exits in a State of Chaos.
The purpose of Consciousnesses, out of necessity, is to bring the Chaos to order.

If thine Single Eye be filled with darkness? How Great then is the Evil within.

The only value to Freedom (of mind, an uninhibited Mind), the conscious mind, is to be able to bring a System of Chaos to Order.

Orderly Chaos, order within a System of Chaos is the Nature of the Conscious Mind.

If there is not order the conscious mind, Freedom of Mind can not, does not exist,

Freedom of Mind is the First Sign of Consciousness; Boundlessness!

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Greta » October 24th, 2017, 6:53 pm

Chilli:

Context: the problem of knowing whether one is living inside a conscious entity (or not).
Chili wrote:From Descartes to modern sci-fi, the point is often made that one is not in a position to say anything definitive about what one is *inside* of.
There is the problem of not being able to see what's what from the outside, but we have still managed to learn plenty about the Milky Way from the inside via the reductionist methods you have been espousing. The other problem is scale. Still, it's worth wondering what would be happening with the innards of sentient entities that's not happening in unconscious ones. What would the world of one of our cells look like?
Chili wrote:One will wonder how one's consciousness per se could come into existence, unless some kind of consciousness was an attribute or ability of whatever lies beyond the known self.
Consciousness surely came from "something" not so unlike itself, as opposed to arising from something utterly unlike it.

Logically, that "something" would be simpler than consciousness, otherwise there's regression issues. Are microbes and cells really "biological machines", ie. philosophical zombies, as is claimed? Or are we making assumptions? Might these little "machines" actually have some tiny portion of consciousness, simply too "insignificant" (to us) for our exponentially larger consciousness to perceive? At least some researchers think so. This comes down to fractal dynamics, with equivalent dynamics occurring at different scales. I won't soliloquise with examples, but if you'd like some some I'll provide.

What we don't remember is that we have all experienced (or not) this microbial state of being as a zygote. The fact that we have nothing to report about this time does not mean something interesting wasn't going on, with equivalent sensations to other microbes. Nine months later, the infant we once were, (also forgotten) shows that a sense of being is not dependent on memory - that one can be utterly mindless and instinctive, yet fully present, sensate and active.

Gestation is a reiteration of a given species' evolutionary steps (logically, what other path could it possibly follow - one of a different species?). So we have experienced all the "levels" or "degrees" of consciousness up to human level, although we cannot relate so much to other types of consciousness based on vastly different living conditions, senses, scale and morphology.

So, in a sense, we already know the answers to some of these questions experientially, but apprehending these things with words and numbers is like wrestling with a cloud.
Atreyu wrote:
Greta wrote:A couple of questions:

if one lived inside of a larger conscious system, how might one know?

How might living within something that is conscious differ to living within something that is merely alive or reactive?

I don't ask this to make a point, just that I'm curious as to what others might think because I'm not sure I know how to tell the difference, especially given the much discussed problem of other minds at our scale, let alone at larger, encompassing ones.
One would not know. Just as the cells of your body cannot know that they live inside a larger conscious system, we cannot know if the Earth is a conscious system, or the Milky Way, or the Universe as a whole.

But I would argue that it's a more likely scenario, by far...
We can't know but, as I mentioned above, we can learn more and try to determine what the difference would be between the internals of a conscious system and that of a dormant one.

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Consul » October 25th, 2017, 11:30 am

Wayne92587 wrote:Consul;

First; thank you for your response. Of the many times that I have used the word mere, you are the first to ask, what do you mean by mere.
In the metaphysical sense, a mere possibility is an unactualized (but actualizable) possibility; and in the epistemological sense, a mere possibility is a logical possibility relative to our knowledge, i.e. one which is consistent with what we know, but whose actuality is neither probable nor plausible.

-- Updated October 25th, 2017, 10:46 am to add the following --
Chili wrote:
Consul wrote:Science cannot really even begin to address this issue. Personally I'm going with my gut in saying that there is a reality "out there".
So am I. External realism and anti-solipsism are bedrock common-sense beliefs, which I take to be default positions.

-- Updated October 26th, 2017, 11:58 am to add the following --
Consul wrote:
Chili wrote:Other minds are simply assumed throughout.
Call it an assumption, a belief, or an opinion—the point is that such assumptions/beliefs/opinions can be (and often are) epistemically justified owing to their being grounded in empirical (ethological or neurophysiological) evidence. So it's not just a matter of "blind faith".
"…Similarity arguments for animal consciousness thus have roots in common sense observations. But they may also be bolstered by scientific investigations of behavior and the comparative study of brain anatomy and physiology, as well as considerations of evolutionary continuity between species. Neurological similarities between humans and other animals have been taken to suggest commonality of conscious experience; all mammals share the same basic brain anatomy, and much is shared with vertebrates more generally. Even structurally different brains may be neurodynamically similar in ways that enable inferences about animal consciousness to be drawn (Seth et al. 2005)."

Animal Consciousness: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cons ... ss-animal/

* Seth, Anil K., Bernard J. Baars, and David B. Edelman: Criteria for Consciousness in Humans and other Mammals [PDF]
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Wayne92587 » October 29th, 2017, 12:32 pm

A "mere" animal, nothing more than specified, fully as much as what is specified; completely fulfilled or developed; absolute.

My mention of the word mere was in reference to the word Naked in the story of Adam and Eve.

Up on hearing what he thought was the word of God, Adam covered himself and hid in the bushes.

God asked Adam, who told you that you were naked.

Man, mortal, animal, man is born naked, Bare, less than a mere animal, Flawed; Animal, Mortal Man’s destiny being to die, become extinct.

Mankind’s Salvation being to become more than a mere Animal.

Man being born in the Image of God, God Like, became more than a mere animal.

God deciding to create a helpmate for mortal Man.

Mankind’s Helpmate, “Eve”, the Conscious Mind, being a Creation, being born somewhere far-out in left field.

God having breathed his breath, The Passion of God into Man’s nostrils, Mankind becoming Conscious, became the Ultimate Survivor, the Spirit of God, God Consciousness, alive in the Flesh Body of Man, God becoming a Living Soul.

-- Updated October 31st, 2017, 7:30 pm to add the following --

Scientists forever have wanted to know what was on the mind of God.

The Heavens and the Earth, the Universe, the Reality of Everything that exists in the material sense of the word is God's Creation, is born of the Consciousness of God.

God Consciousness being descriptive of the State or Condition of the mind of God. God Consciousness simply being a Boundless State of Chaos, in
which nothing is readily apparent, nothing is measurable as to location, Time, Space and Motion existing as a Singularity; Time and Space being undifferentiated, not being measurable a to speed and location, the Motion of a Singularity alone in Space being meaningless, existing without angular momentum, without velocity of Speed and direction, existing as an insignificant innate, inner motion, an oscillation, a Vibration.

God like all Singularities alone in the Emptiness making a Humming Sound, OHM!

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Togo1 » November 1st, 2017, 10:01 am

Chili wrote:You gotta brain problem - you go to a doctor. He uses reductionist models as much as possible, even though there are things that work without science knowing exactly why or how at this point. Mood & concentration can be enhanced by modifying brain chemistry, or circulation in the brain. Classic chemistry and fluid dynamics are used to put chemicals in, to take chemicals out, and to reach in with metal tools and remove tumors. Nothing that happens physically to the brain during these procedures surprises the trained reductionists in the hospital. Voila.
Ok, let's take this step by step.

First off, a doctor is not a reductionist. He follows the medical approach, which is based on case studies. He compares the symptomology of his patient with the symptoms of other patients. He can't afford to reduce that to the simplest explanation, because the simplest explanation is not only likely to be wrong, but would rule out conditions that, if untreated, would endanger the patient. So he focuses on explanations that are risky, as well as those that are common, even if they don't entirely fit the symptoms, many of which are ideosyncratic in any case. He also has to consider multiple causation - such as a patients who has meningitis and a cold at the same time.

Second of all if you come to a mental hospital with a brain problem, you're going to be referred to a clinical psychologist He's not going to give a stuff what your dopamine levels are or the pressure of your cerebral spinal fluid, but he is going to ask a lot of questions about your subjective experiences, because that forms a fairly large part of the standard diagnosis criteria.

Thirdly, the behaviour of brain surgury patients is one of the most closely studied phenomenon in neuroscience, precisely because it is so surprising. In the UK, the law making the wearing of motorcycle helmets compulsory is bemoaned as a setback to neuromedical research, precisely because the stream of head injuries that were available before were considered so valuable for research. Even now, the standard method for investigating a neuoranatomical theory is to lesion the section of brain resonsible in an animal, and see how their behaviour changes.
Chili wrote:Quantum physics is not a deterministic theory. It does not tell us that determinism is true. That doesn't mean QM is "telling us determinism is false". Determinism really amounts to the simple logic that if something happens, it is because it had a cause.
Ok, you keep saying this, and this still isn't true.

A decent definition of determinism, can be found here: http://www.informationphilosopher.com/f ... inism.html
Along with brief reference to several of the points we've touched on. Feel free to cite a difference source if you prefer. Determinism is not the thesis that 'events have causes'. It's the thesis that all things are determined by antecedent events, hence the name.

If nothing else, there's certainly no barrier to cause and effect working within quantum physics. The reason why quantum physics tells us that determinism is false is because it explicitly includes indeterminent events. This violates determinism, the idea that all events are determined by prior events, but is entirely consistent with cause and effect.
Chili wrote:Anyhow, read this. I thought it was pretty good.
http://mathpages.com/rr/s9-06/9-06.htm
It was interesting, thank you.
Chili wrote:The point is that subjectivity cannot be demonstrated objectively to exist, and this is not any kind of forcing anything into a concept or definition.
Ask 100 people if they experience thoughts and events inside their heads. Count the responses. That's evidence that subjective experiences exists, at least as a phenomenon to be explained. It's not absolute proof, but then what is?

Stick those same people in a brain scanner, and ask them to think about either playing tennis or rowing a boat. Plot the areas of the brain that light up. Stick them in a controlled task experiment, look at the different performance characteristics between consciousily controlled tasks and those performed more automatically. Note the differences. Do the same with tasks of perceptual judgement, conscious versus automatic. Note that people with impaired conscioiusness appear to suffer impaired function, even if the sections of the brain to do with the mechanics of the task are uneffected. And so on.
Chili wrote:Humanity has always imagined conscious agency to dwell in the cracks wherever mechanisms were not known.
And always imagined simple rules to deal with what turn out to be quite complex problems. You might want to ask yourselves why we evolved to treat other people as conscious, if that wasn't an accurate model of how other people behave.

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Re: Some Questions about P-Zombies Hypothesis

Post by Chili » November 1st, 2017, 11:03 am

Togo1:

A doctor is looking at a whole system, and uses a body of empirical evidence to correlate inputs and outputs to the black box of life (increasingly understood reductionistically - one wonders where it will end). He is a reductionist in all the ways that matter when he comes up against new situations. If he can't see somewhere there might be a problem, he looks. If somebody has a battery in their stomach, it had to get there somewhere, it is made up of particular compounds, there are good well-understood reasons why it is more harmful than some other object, relating to the physics and chemistry of batteries interacting with their environments. He doesn't embrace the simplest explanation possible, but the simplest one which works, and these are all found to be not contradictory with reductionist physics. Scientists don't use reductionism to pick breakfast, look up the bus timetables, walk to the bus stop, etc. but when questions arise in any of these areas, whatever analysis is needed can be confidently undertaken.

The human brain is often described as the most complex object in the universe. It can be the least known and modeled reductionistically, though reductionism marches on.

The Bohmian approach to the quantum world involves particular particles being at particular locations, moved by a quantum potention which is nonlocal but still deterministic. Quantum physics is not a fully deterministic theory but certainly it is not possible to "refute determinism" - and I invite you to cite sources on this.

If you ask 100 AI programs if they experience thoughts, count the responses. Evidence, as casual conversation defines it, is in the eye of the beholder.

The question of why we evolved to do so is intriguing. Remember that you, the observer, don't know if the individual who responds to another "as if conscious" is actually conscious - you are seeing output from the most complex black box in the universe. Reductionistically, we can say that behaviors are related to structures and then genes. Animals treat other animals as conscious - or potentially threatening agents, rivals, prey, not inanimate objects, at any rate. So there's a kind of default category for anything which cannot be relied upon to just sit there.

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