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Zombies and Consciousness$
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Robert Kirk

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285488

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199285489.001.0001

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Zapping the Zombie Idea

Zapping the Zombie Idea

Chapter:
(p.37) 4 Zapping the Zombie Idea
Source:
Zombies and Consciousness
Author(s):

Robert Kirk

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199285489.003.0004

Although the zombie idea seems to fit in with some ‘natural and plain’ intuitions (Chalmers), it conflicts with others. Reinforced by the ‘jacket fallacy’, it both feeds on and feeds an incoherent conception of phenomenal consciousness. The ‘sole-pictures argument’ shows that a certain variety of epiphenomenalism is inconceivable in the relevant sense. Then it is argued that if zombies are conceivable, so is that kind of epiphenomenalism. If the reasoning is sound, the inconceivability of zombies follows. Among other corollaries of the main conclusion is that the idea of the inverted spectrum (transposed qualia) without physical differences is incoherent too.

Keywords:   Chalmers, dualism, epiphenomenalism, intuitions, inverted spectrum, jacket fallacy, phenomenal consciousness, qualia, sole-pictures argument, zombies

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