The Zombie Argument

1912 WordsSep 14, 20148 Pages
The zombie argument presents an idea meant to prove that consciousness doesn’t necessarily logically supervene on the physical. In this example there exists a zombie, defined as “someone or something physically identical to me ( or any other conscious being) but lacking conscious experiences altogether.” (Chalmers,94) Zombie world is then defined as “a world physically identical to ours,but in which there are no conscious experiences at all. In such a world, everyone is a zombie.” (Chalmers, 94) In this idea, only “phenomenal zombies” are to be considered meaning zombies that are “physically and functionally identical ( as us) , but which lack experience” (Chalmers 95) There are five main arguments that stand behind this idea, the first two being ideas regarding conceivability, the second two arguments of epistemology and the fifth and argument of analysis. The first argument discusses conceivability, which basically just means whether it can happen or not. It is similar, but not the same thing as possible, because it does not just have to be physically imaginable, it also can’t contradict itself. There is an example provided in the text by Chalmers about a mile-high unicycle, since both terms are conceivable and there is no contradiction of terms, we can say it is a logical possibility. There is also a counter-argument that regards priori knowledge vs posteriori, in this case however only the priori matters in order to consider whether the idea is conceivable or not. The
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