Thursday, February 28, 2013
This is a Picture of a Chair
It's just sitting there.
And I keep thinking about consciousness and zombie toasters (zombie's according to Chalmers, that is) and the fact that we don't believe that inanimate objects have "consciousness" or individual identities or selves or an expressable "I."
And I think how unfair that is.
And I think of the book Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls, where the main character can hear things like stuffed animals and doors and walls and people thinks she's crazy but she's not. Because she really can hear doors and walls and inanimate objects that we say do not have identities or any abilities to communicate.
And I want to know why.
And I want to push at philosophers and make them explain to me why this assumption is in place. Is it only because you cannot conceive of it? Cannot imagine it? Because I can. So many times I feel like a book is judging me, or a chair looks lonely, or a rock feels angry, or.... Is this merely me taking my own mental states and attributing them to inanimate objects? Am I just crazy? Am I just using language and feelings in ways that only writers use language and feelings?
I don't know.
But I wish philosophers would quit saying so forcefully that they know that chairs do not have identities or personalities or "consciousness" or anything at all they are just wood and cloth and little bits of metal nails.
Because we don't really know anything - now do we?