David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 170 (1):191 - 210 (2009)
This paper suggests a critique of the zombie argument that bypasses the need to decide on the truth of its main premises, and specifically, avoids the need to enter the battlefield of whether conceivability entails metaphysical possibility. It is argued that if we accept, as the zombie argument’s supporters would urge us, the assumption that an ideal reasoner can conceive of a complete physical description of the world without conceiving of qualia, the general principle that conceivability entails metaphysical possibility, and the general principle that for any s and t the metaphysical possibility of s & − t entails that s does not necessitate t, we have to conclude not that materialism is false but rather that either materialism or the “mental paint” (or “phenomenist”) conception of phenomenality is false. And further, given the initial advantages of materialism, the fact that proponents of the zombie argument are not allowed to rely on arguments against materialism in confronting this dilemma, and difficulties with arguments in favor of phenomenism, we find ourselves pushed to reject the mental paint conception rather than materialism. Or at any rate, it is hard to see how the proponent of the zombie argument can carry the burden of proof that lies with her. Thus, whether or not those premises of the zombie argument are true, the argument fails to refute materialism.
|Keywords||Zombie Conceivability Materialism Phenomenism Mental paint Eliminative materialism Functionalism Representationalism Intentionalism Dualism Qualia Chalmers|
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References found in this work BETA
Ned Block (2003). Mental Paint. In Martin Hahn & B. Ramberg (eds.), Reflections and Replies: Essays on the Philosophy of Tyler Burge. Mit Press. 165--200.
Ned Block (1996). Mental Paint and Mental Latex. Philosophical Issues 7:19-49.
Ned Block (2007). Wittgenstein and Qualia. Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):73-115.
Ned Block & Robert Stalnaker (1999). Conceptual Analysis, Dualism, and the Explanatory Gap. Philosophical Review 108 (1):1-46.
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