Chapter

The Impossibility of Zombies

David Papineau

in Thinking about Consciousness

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780199243822
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598166 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199243824.003.0004
 The Impossibility of Zombies

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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

Chapter.  8718 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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