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Churchland then mentions another problem called “p-zombies”. We could imagine some kind of creature is all identical to us, but doesn’t have inner life. It doesn’t have consciousness or feeling or desire, but act exactly like us. We are not able to prove the nonexistence of it, so since we can imagine that the mind and body are separate things, they should be separable (58).

Not likely, I think. The “philosophical zombie (p-zombie)” argument involves the same problem with the introspection argument: we overestimated our sense ability. The reason why we  imagine that the mind and body are separate things is because we are not yet able to discover everything hiding in our brain. We once even thought the consciousness is generated from the heart and eventually proved it was wrong, didn’t we? We should admit our science limitation instead of filling the blank with our own imagination. 

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Or we could suppose that “p-zombie” does exist. It would means that there is certain creature who doesn’t have consciousness or feeling or desire but acts as if it does have consciousness and feeling and desire exactly like us. Then here comes the question. What makes the  creature behave what we behave without the same neural firing? Some voices tell it to? Or there’s no reason? The question is just like asking whether we are the god’s dream or not. It’s undebatable since there will never be an answer to it. 

Those ideas lead me to believe the validity of the identity theory. Since the physical states play the major role in producing our mind, we shall simply look at the nervous system and brain. However, as the cognitive/computational approach claims, a better way to study the mind is to find the causal relations between inputs and outputs and “there are infinitely many different computational procedures that will produce exactly that relation” (148). Functionalism supports the method in claiming that there are many other mental status between any input and output (63). For example, we receive a painful input, then other mental states tell us to avoid it, then we output “ouch”. 

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The problem with the method is that we cannot go in depth to other mental states without understanding physical structures of the brain. For example, what is the nature of the mental states “avoiding dislike’? It’s still because of certain neuron system firing. 


The methodological approach is better than the cognitive/computational approach as it is digging in more depth about our mind. Human mind is nothing more than material, the only reason why it appears to be complicated is its ability to do reflection upon itself, which the reflection ability is still based on physical states of the brain. 

But we still have to admit that any one of the two methods cannot live without the other. We are not going to understand any mental states with ignoring biological causes and we won’t have clue to explore physical states without a guiding picture of the computational approach. The two methods will surely end up meeting.

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