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Zombies and Epiphenomenalism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2009

Andrew Bailey*
Affiliation:
University of Guelph

Abstract

ABSTRACT: This paper examines the relationship between the claim that zombies are logically/metaphysically possible and the position that phenomenal consciousness is epiphenomenal. It is often taken that the former entails the latter, and that therefore any implausibility in the notion of conscious epiphenomenalism calls into question the genuine possibility of zombies. Four ways in which the zombist might respond are examined, and I argue that two—those most commonly encountered—are inadequate, but the others—one of which is rarely formulated and the other new—are more forceful. The upshot, nevertheless, is that the zombist may indeed face an unwelcome commitment to conscious epiphenomenalism.

RÉSUMÉ : Cet article porte sur la relation entre l’assertion que les morts-vivants sont une possibilité logique/métaphysique et la position que la conscience des phénomènes est épiphénoménale. On suppose souvent que ceci implique cela, et que, par conséquent, tout caractère non plausible dans la notion de conscience épiphénoménale remet en question la possibilité que des morts-vivants existent vraiment. Suit l’examen de quatre voies ouvertes au zombiste pour formuler une réponse, deux desquelles sont déclarée inadéquates, tandis que les deux autres se révèlent avoir plus de force. Le résultat en est cependant que le zombiste se trouve malgré lui engagé à défendre la conscience épiphénoménale.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Philosophical Association 2009

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