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Thinking about Consciousness$
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David Papineau

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243822

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199243824.001.0001

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The Impossibility of Zombies

The Impossibility of Zombies

Chapter:
(p.73) Chapter 3 The Impossibility of Zombies
Source:
Thinking about Consciousness
Author(s):

David Papineau (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199243824.003.0004

Saul Kripke challenges materialists to explain why zombies should seem possible, if they are in fact impossible; and he points out that it is not plausible that this is because terms for conscious states such as “pain” refer by invoking some contingent property of their referents. In response, Papineau argues that the conceivability of zombies is no guide to any kind of possibility, and that those who suppose that it is are committed to the archaic view that direct reference involves some kind of transparent acquaintance.

Keywords:   acquaintance, conceivability, consciousness, Kripke, possibility, zombies

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