Why zombies are inconceivable

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):477-90 (2004)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

I argue that zombies are inconceivable. More precisely, I argue that the conceivability-intuition that is used to demonstrate their possibility has been misconstrued. Thought experiments alleged to feature zombies founder on the fact that, on the one hand, they _must_ involve first-person imagining, and yet, on the other hand, _cannot_. Philosophers who take themselves to have imagined zombies have unwittingly conflated imagining a creature who lacks consciousness with imagining a creature without also imagining the consciousness it may or may not possess

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,439

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Imagining Zombies.Casey Woodling - 2014 - Disputatio 6 (38):107-116.
Access denied to zombies.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2008 - Unpublished (1):1-13.
Can the Conditional Analysis Strategy Help Physicalism?Woojin Han - 2014 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (1-2):110-126.
Wittgenstein versus Zombies: An Investigation of Our Mental Concepts.Edward Witherspoon - 2019 - In A. C. Grayling, Shyam Wuppuluri, Christopher Norris, Nikolay Milkov, Oskari Kuusela, Danièle Moyal-Sharrock, Beth Savickey, Jonathan Beale, Duncan Pritchard, Annalisa Coliva, Jakub Mácha, David R. Cerbone, Paul Horwich, Michael Nedo, Gregory Landini, Pascal Zambito, Yoshihiro Maruyama, Chon Tejedor, Susan G. Sterrett, Carlo Penco, Susan Edwards-Mckie, Lars Hertzberg, Edward Witherspoon, Michel ter Hark, Paul F. Snowdon, Rupert Read, Nana Last, Ilse Somavilla & Freeman Dyson (eds.), Wittgensteinian : Looking at the World From the Viewpoint of Wittgenstein’s Philosophy. Springer Verlag. pp. 423-438.
Yet Another Look at the Conceivability and Possibility of Zombies.Maja Malec - 2015 - Balkan Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):115-124.
The mental lives of zombies.Declan Smithies - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):343-372.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
521 (#38,687)

6 months
45 (#106,586)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Eric Marcus
Auburn University

Citations of this work

Imagining as a Guide to Possibility.Peter Kung - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):620-663.
Zombie intuitions.Eugen Fischer & Justin Sytsma - 2021 - Cognition 215 (C):104807.
Zombies.Robert Kirk - 2003 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 29 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
Can we solve the mind-body problem?Colin Mcginn - 1989 - Mind 98 (July):349-66.
Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness.Joseph Levine - 2001 - Philosophy 77 (299):130-135.
Can We Solve the Mind-Body Problem?Colin McGinn - 2003 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 13 references / Add more references