David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 24 (5):585 - 605 (2011)
Most materialist responses to the zombie argument against materialism take either a ?type-A? or ?type-B? approach: they either deny the conceivability of zombies or accept their conceivability while denying their possibility. However, a ?type-Q? materialist approach, inspired by Quinean suspicions about a priority and modal entailment, rejects the sharp line between empirical and conceptual truths needed for the traditional responses. In this paper, I develop a type-Q response to the zombie argument, one stressing the theory-laden nature of our conceivability and possibility intuitions. I argue that our first-person access to the conscious mind systematically misleads us into thinking that the distinctive qualities of conscious experience?qualia?are nonfunctional. Qualia, I contend, are functional, even though they do not seem to be. To support my claim, I introduce the ?meditations? of Rene Descartes? zombie twin. This establishes the plausibility of an appearance/reality distinction for consciousness and it undermines various anti-materialist objections based on privileged first-person access. I conclude that the best overall theory posits an appearance/reality distinction for qualia, and this, for the type-Q materialist, is decisive
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References found in this work BETA
W. V. Quine (1960). Word and Object. The MIT Press.
Saul A. Kripke (1980). Naming and Necessity. Harvard University Press.
Thomas Nagel (1974). What is It Like to Be a Bat? Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Jaegwon Kim (1998). Mind in a Physical World: An Essay on the Mind-Body Problem and Mental Causation. MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Elizabeth Irvine (forthcoming). Explaining What? Topoi:1-12.
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