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3 Some philosophers may want to correct us by saying that brains and states of brains arent conscious of anything, dont have insights, etc.: it is the possessors of the brains that are properly described in these ways. Though such a warning demonstrates a laudable respect for the way people talk, it merely blunts the theoretical questions that concern us that is, unless such philosophers hold that consciousness resides in the feet. See for example Dretske, "What good is consciousness?"
5 Dennett introduces his Martian scientists at the start of his ambitious chapter, "A Third-Person Approach to Consciousness" (SD 25). These investigative allies seem to be recruited to lend an extra degree of distance from human subjectivity, but it becomes clear that Dennett wants to have it both ways with them, for they are just tricked-up zombies. He starts by crediting them with sense organs, beliefs and "the knack of adopting the intentional stance", then claims not to be presupposing that they are conscious, then goes for the haymaker, saying they are zombies "without a trace of...real consciousness" (SD 26-27). Later in the book he denies that such a formulation is even coherent (SD 92, 150).
6 For this discussion I confine myself to the human brain. Interesting issues arise as to whether science, once it gets a handle on consciousness, will be able to detect consciousness in other living creatures such as bats and cats. I expect the answer is yes.
7 See William Seager, "Real Patterns and Surface Metaphysics", in Dennett's philosophy: A Comprehensive Assessment, edited Ross, Brook, and Thompson, MIT, 2000, page 96. Seager affirms that X has been naturalized iff X "has been explained in terms of Something Else", the "Something Else does not essentially involve X", and the Something Else is "properly natural".
10 Moore, Russell and others in fact defined sense-data (and their properties, like blueness) in terms of our direct acquaintance with them, with the result that it became true a priori that sense-data could not be ordinary objects, and instead formed a sort of wall between us and the world.
12 Could this latter set of neurons be the same set? In principle it could turn out that there are specialized neuron sets whose job it is to produce the experience of blueness, and others that produce redness; or it could turn out that the same set of neurons can produce either experience by being in the right respective state.
13 That is why Dennetts notion of zombie Martians carrying on heterophenomenology is so stupefying. Only conscious beings can study anything including consciousness. For Dennetts team to argue that consciousness doesnt exist is like a team of investigators claiming to prove that arsonists dont exist, while lighting illegal fires to better view their subjects.