The Zombie Attack, Perry’s Parry, and a Riposte: A Slight Softening of the “Hard Problem” of Consciousness

Topoi 36 (1):55-65 (2017)
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Abstract

The “hard problem” of consciousness is a challenge for explanations of the nature of our phenomenal experiences. Chalmers has claimed that physicalist solutions to the challenge are ill-suited due, in part, to the zombie argument against physicalism. Perry has suggested that the zombie argument begs the question against the physicalist, and presents no relevant threat to the view. Although seldom discussed in the literature, I show there is defensive merit to Perry’s “parry” of the zombie attack. The success of the maneuver suggests a slight softening of the hard problem of consciousness for physicalists.

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