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Chapter 12 - Return of the zombies?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2012

Simone Gozzano
Affiliation:
Università degli Studi dell'Aquila, Italy
Christopher S. Hill
Affiliation:
Brown University, Rhode Island
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Summary

Epiphenomenalism is a hypothesis about the actual world. Qualia are experiences, or at any rate the properties of experiences. If epiphenomenalism is true, however, qualia have no physical effects in the actual world. In The Conscious Mind, Chalmers argues that we can conceive of a possible world that is (i) physically indiscernible from ours and (ii) contains no qualia. The author concluded that Chalmers' argument gives only epiphenomenalists a good reason for concluding (or continuing to maintain) that qualia are not physical properties. This chapter reconsiders the issue and argues, however, that the weaker conclusion still leaves the zombie argument unconvincing for most everyone. It discusses a point made by Brie Gertler in her valuable review of Knowledge, Possibility, and Consciousness. The basic idea of the zombie argument is take our world and remove all the qualia.
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New Perspectives on Type Identity
The Mental and the Physical
, pp. 251 - 263
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

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