The Conditional Analysis of Phenomenal Concepts

Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 42:77-84 (2008)
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Abstract

John Hawthorne (2002), David Braddon-Mitchell (2003), and Robert Stalnaker (2002), almost simultaneously but independently, developed a physicalistic argument which depends on such two conditional analyses: (1) If we experience dualistic pain, zombies are possible; (2) If our world is physicalistic, zombies are impossible. Hawthorne assumes that only an oracle will tell us which conditional is the case. From this setting, he concludes that zombies are conceivable butimpossible. I first show that Hawthorne actually fails in deriving neither the conceivability of zombies nor their impossibility. Next, I argue that Hawthorne’s reasoning entails an absurdity that any entity like God, whose existence is controversial, will be conceivable but impossible.

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Woojin Han
Duksung Women's University

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