Note: if too long, at least read the last lines, I have a question that has to do with how the epiphenomenological self might only work by violating thermodynamics.
I introduce how that question aries in this post though, as well as more stuff.
Both are lying; the zombie and the human, both would be nothing but generating the string of characters "I am conscious" for mechanistic reasons.
The non-zombie human would have that difference that he'd possess an internal observer, which could
1 ) Only receive input from the outside, that is, from the physical observer,
as well as
2 ) Receive input from himself,
3 ) Can not produce ouptut directed towards outer physical systems, and having a causal effect on them.
That epiphenomenal consciousness would by an extraordinary coincidence "feel certain emotions" from the zombie mechanism which it receives constant input feeds from.
Now that doesn't seem extraordinary if the epiphenomenal consciousness always associate such "physical" input with the feeling of consciousness, that is, that input is what has been associated to that feeling, and which, from then on, triggers the feeling of being conscious.
The extraphysical process historically arrives after the physical one, and has been shaped by it, while remaining in its own bubble of separate reality.
You could maybe imagine that if the input from the physical world had been consistently different, then
1 ) A different input, for instance, say, "florb", would cause the same feeling of consciousness that is being caused by the words "I am conscious".
2 ) A different input would cause another epiphenomenal feeling, different from the one caused by the words "I am conscious", but no less epiphenomenal.
In any case, the idea here is that the epiphenomenal observer co-evolved with the physical zombie (though not the other way around), and thus has associated the utterances about consciousness coming from the zombie with the feeling of consciousness.
It also means that the extra physical one comes equipped with everything it needs to be conscious, perceive that fact, and that it is yet trapped, having no way to act on anything save for itself.
So don't say "When I focus my inward awareness on my inward awareness, I shortly thereafter experience my internal narrative saying "I am focusing my inward awareness on my inward awareness", and can, if I choose, say so out loud."
But rather the other way around
"When the physical zombie to which I am tied has its internal narrative saying "I am focusing my inward awareness on my inward awareness", a short moment after, the epiphenomenal consciousness is triggered by that, and associates it with a certain feeling of consciousness.
"this mysterious stuff doesn't do anything"
Correction, doesn't do anything to the physical universe, but may do something to itself; insofar as the physical universe is just an abstraction of the senses, for a conscious observer, what you can do to yourself may just be as real, or at least important, as that input, stimuli coming from the physical world, in your own internal theater.
"According to Chalmers, the causally closed cognitive system of Chalmers's internal narrative is (mysteriously) malfunctioning in a way that, not by necessity, but just in our universe, miraculously happens to be correct."
What is a miracle is that Epiphenomenological-Chalmers inhabits a zombie that holds exactly those views, if they happen to be right, since that zombie has no way of inducing or deducing the truth behind consciousness, since it cannot act on the physical world.
What seems not a miracle is that inner-Chalmers feels conscious when he receive, as input, the words "I am conscious", since he has been co-evolving with his zombie to feel that way as a response to such strings.
Yet why do the zombie arrive at that conclusion and not another one ? Inner Chalmers would still feel something if he received input from a zombie with different views, even if he developped a wrong theory of consciousness.
Since the physical Chalmers has deduced that theory from something, does it mean that any physical Chalmers would necessarily produce the same theory in any universe, or any universe identical to ours ?
And what would Inner-Chalmers feel if that theory was wrong ? He'd probably just get along with it anyway, wouldn't he ?
Or would he do his own "thinking" and arrive at a different theory from that of the physical Chalmers, having access to more information ?
"It's clear that the function of mapping reality is performed strictly by Outer Chalmers. The whole business of producing belief representations is handled by Bayesian structure in causal interactions. There's nothing left for the Inner Chalmers to do, but bless the whole affair with epiphenomenal meaning."
Agreed about the mapping. The meaning given by internal-extraphysical Chalmers is however, pretty important as that meaning is an input on the same level as the input coming from the physical world, for extraphysical-Chalmers.
"the outer Chalmers that writes philosophy papers - which believes that it has an epiphenomenal inner self, must be doing something systematically unreliable because it would conclude the same thing in a Zombie World."
Very true. But it isn't (just) about the physical Chalmers, it is about how the extraphysical Chalmers is feeling, from the inside of his epiphenomenological fortress.
I have one question, though, the most important thing maybe. How can you conceive of a phenomenon that accept an asymmetric flow between itself and the outside world ? Input but no output ? Wasn't that the very thing that made Hawking devise a theory explaining why black holes must radiate energy, lest they violate thermodynamics ?
It seems to me that even though that epiphenomenological self only accepts "information", information normally never comes alone, you need to have matter or energy to carry it; that means that the epiphenomenological part of our consciousness must be able to interact with matter in such a way that it can receive information from it, without having causal effect on it in return ?
So that you transfer information from one level of reality, to another, but you can never get anything back ?
Action, but no reaction ?
Not only does that suppose a whole new sort of causality, but it also supposes a system that can possibly violate thermodynamics on an informational level.
That is similar to the kind of thrill, the feelings I'd undergo when reading fantasy or science fiction, but then for other mysteries, other secrets. I can now see how you could put science and technical knowledge in their place.
I'd been under the impression that the mysteries hinted at in fiction are always easier and more intuitive to grasp, and require less personal work per amount of result, than science does, however.
I don't know if that means I'd maybe grow tired sooner and give up on science, frustrated by the sluggish pace of my progress compared to the efforts I put into my learning, or if the difficulty of learning the innumerable details of science would make it all the more worthwile, and would make the fun last much longer than it would for, say, fantasy magic learning.