. Robert Stalnaker on Zombies - Dictionary of Arguments

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Zombies: A zombie is a fictional or mythological undead creature, often depicted as a reanimated corpse without consciousness or free will. In the philosophy of mind, the thought experiment of the existence of zombies serves to investigate the possibility of whether there could be beings without consciousness that do not differ from us in their behavior. In other words, whether consciousness is necessary for seemingly rational behavior. See also consciousness, behavior.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Robert Stalnaker on Zombies - Dictionary of Arguments

I 19f
Zombies/perceptive faculty/Stalnaker: you cannot say that there are possible worlds with zombies that are conceivable but metaphysically impossible. General Picture: consciousness refers to a property that we find in us, and that we probably know, because we have it. But the fact that we are conscious does not provide special access to the nature of this property.
I 239
Zombie/materialism/Stalnaker: simple argument VsMaterialism: Zombies are conceptually impossible. Then there would be two possible worlds that are physically indistinguishable, but can be distinguished in terms of qualitative experiences and consciousness that can be inside them. Then the consciousness does not supervene on the physical.
, >Consciousness, >Materialism.
I 242
MaterialismVsVs: materialism must accept that there could be zombies in the real world, but assert that there are none.
I 251
Materialism must be compatible with the having of consciousness.
I 241
Zombie/Stalnaker: z-World: is a world in which there is nothing, except that which supervenes on the physical. The absence of consciousness is not mentioned but it is possible that there are zombies - otherwise the z-world is like the w-world. Later: a-world: the a-world additionally has consciousness, qualia, and so on ((s) that is not explicitly denied for the z-world).
I 244
Zombie/theoretical weight/theory-laden/Stalnaker: if consciousness is theory-laden, it is built into the meaning of what the theory assumes about it. Then the word is no longer innocent and then we might learn something new about it.
>Theory ladenness.
I 245
Example: if water turned out to be a collective term for all manner, then we would say "It is not water" (because it were no element). On the other hand: innocent use: the innocent use corresponds to the whatever ((s) the concept of role then denies theory ladenness?).
I 252
Zombie/conceivability/Stalnaker: conceivability as an argument for possible existence: limited sense of conceivability: if it is conceivable that we live in an a-world, then it is conceivable in this restricted sense that there are zombies there.
Materialism: if he is right and we live in a z-world, then there is no possible world that could be described correctly as a zombie world.
Conceivability: in a restricted sense conceivability is not an argument VsMaterialism. One would have to assume beforehand that materialism is wrong.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Stalnaker I
R. Stalnaker
Ways a World may be Oxford New York 2003

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2024-05-24
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