3 karmaJoined Jun 2015


Yes, in fact. Frank Jackson, the guy who came up with the Knowledge Argument against physicalism (Mary the color scientist), later recanted and became a Type-A physicalist. He has a pretty similar approach to morality as consciousness now.

His views are discussed here

Fine, but it's still just a definitional choice. Ultimately, after all the scientific evidence comes in, the question seems to come down to morality,

I think metaphysics is unavoidable here. A scientific theory of consciousness has metaphysical commitments that a scientific theory of temperature, life or electromagnetism lacks. If consciousness is anything like what Brian Tomasik, Daniel Dennett and other Type-A physicalists think it is, "is x conscious?" is a verbal dispute that needs to be resolved in the moral realm. If consciousness is anything like what David Chalmers and other nonreductionists think it is, a science of consciousness needs to make clear what psychophysical laws it is committed to.

For the reductionists, talking about empirical support for a theory of consciousness should be as ridiculous as talking about empirical support for the belief that viruses are living. For nonreductionists like myself, the only empirical evidence we have for psychophysical laws is anthropic evidence, direct acquaintance and perhaps some a priori conceptual analysis stuff.

I applaud the intention of remaining neutral on these issues, but it seems like there is an insurmountable gulf between the two positions. They have different research goals (Reductionists: what computations should we care about? Nonreductionists: What psychophysical laws do we have anthropic and conceptual evidence for?)

On the subject of polyphasic sleep, I strongly suggest reading Dr. Piotr Wozniak's criticism of it at http://www.supermemo.com/articles/polyphasic.htm