Zombies

Discuss the wiki-tag on this page. Here is the place to ask questions and propose changes.

4 comments, sorted by
New Comment

Merge these posts into the 'Consciousness' tag (no need for a separate 'zombie' tag). Can leave this up as a pure wiki/glossary page if wanted.

It seems like a separate 'zombie' tag might be useful if people are specifically looking to read people's thoughts on p-zombies, as opposed to just reading about consciousness in general. (There's probably some inferential step I'm not catching on to, though).

The set of posts that are about 'p-zombies', 'the hard problem of consciousness', 'phenomenal consciousness', 'Mary's room thought experiments', 'the mysterious redness of red', 'the explanatory gap for qualia', 'arguments for and against epiphenomenalism', etc. are more or less talking about the same topic. I think it's more useful to lump those together than split them apart, since those aren't the kinds of conversations we want to fragment off from each other; someone who follows the latest debate about zombies should also be paying attention to the latest debates about Mary's room, and vice versa.

I'm less confident about whether that hub page should be the 'consciousness' tag. Another option would be to make 'consciousness' a disambiguation page, and have a clearer name for the 'hard problem of consciousness' discussion. But this is a pretty disputed topic, so giving it a clearer name might be seen as biasing the conversation. (E.g., some people might object that the 'hard problem' isn't hard, or isn't a real problem.)

I guess I also have a bit of a minimalist philosophy about tags, which I might be talked out of if I hear others' perspectives. Tags create more work by forcing future users to remember 'oh yeah, there's a tag for [X]', and by forcing users to upkeep the tag indefinitely (lest it get confusing which posts are where). If a tag is only mildly useful, I'd usually prefer replacing it with a static list of 'here are some useful places to start if you want to read about zombies on LessWrong'. The page could even remind people that 'zombies' is very text-search-friendly on LW.

Thanks for responding so quickly!
I agree with you now (and I'm going to agree with your minimalist policy for now too, just since I think you're better-informed than me).

Minor clarification that you might have already been aware of: I was thinking that posts tagged 'zombie' should also be tagged 'consciousness', if they didn't merge. Now I'm fairly sure they should be merged.