Conceiving what is not there

Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (8):21-42 (2001)
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Abstract

In this paper I argue that certain so-called conceivability arguments fail to show that a currently popular version of physicalism in the philosophy of mind is false. Concentrating on an argument due to David Chalmers, I first argue that Chalmers misrepresents the relation between conceivability and possibility. I then argue that the intuition behind the conceivability of so-called zombie worlds can be accounted for without having to suppose that such worlds are genuinely conceivable. I conclude with some general remarks about the nature of conceivability.

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Andrew Botterell
University of Western Ontario

Citations of this work

Why zombies are inconceivable.Eric Marcus - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):477-90.
The property dualism argument against physicalism.Andrew Botterell - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Research 28:223-242.

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References found in this work

A Materialist Theory of the Mind.D. M. Armstrong - 1968 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Ted Honderich.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
The problems of philosophy.Bertrand Russell - 1912 - New York: Barnes & Noble.

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