David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Psyche 8 (2002)
In this paper I challenge the core of David Chalmers' argument against materialism-the claim that "there is a logically possible world physically identical to ours, in which the positive facts about consciousness do not hold." First, I analyze the move from conceivability to logical possibility. Following George Seddon, I consider the case of a floating iron bar and argue that even this seemingly conceivable event has implicit logical contradictions in its description. I then show that the distinctions Chalmers employs between primary and secondary intensions, and a priori and a posteriori entailment, break down upon close examination-with iron bars and with consciousness it is impossible to know where primary intensions end and secondary intensions begin. I extend this analysis of logical possibility to the famous zombie thought experiment and conclude not that a zombie world is logically impossible, but rather that, at present, the question is open. Finally, I show how a similar line of argument may be used to undermine the "Mary the color scientist" thought experiment as well.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Andrew R. Bailey (2009). Zombies and Epiphenomenalism. Dialogue 48 (01):129-.
Similar books and articles
Tibor R. Machan (1969). Note on Conceivability and Logical Possibility. Kinesis 2:39--42.
Brent Silby (1998). On The Conceivability of Zombies. In Jack Copeland (ed.), Philosophy research paper series - Dept Philosophy, University of Canterbury.
Nigel J. T. Thomas (1998). Zombie Killer. In Stuart R. Hameroff, Alfred W. Kaszniak & A. C. Scott (eds.), Toward a Science of Consciousness II. MIT Press.
W. R. Webster (2006). Human Zombies Are Metaphysically Impossible. Synthese 151 (2):297-310.
Eric Marcus (2004). Why Zombies Are Inconceivable. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):477-90.
Torin Alter (2007). Imagining Subjective Absence: Marcus on Zombies. Disputatio 2 (22):91-101.
Owen J. Flanagan & Thomas W. Polger (1995). Zombies and the Function of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (4):313-21.
Michael P. Lynch (2006). Zombies and the Case of the Phenomenal Pickpocket. Synthese 149 (1):37-58.
Douglas B. Rasmussen (1977). Logical Possibility, Iron Bars, and Necessary Truth. New Scholasticism 51 (1):117-122.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads43 ( #39,852 of 1,102,799 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #182,775 of 1,102,799 )
How can I increase my downloads?