. David Chalmers 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

David Chalmers on Zombies - Dictionary of Arguments

I 94
Zombies/Robots/Chalmers: zombies and robots are logically possible. There could be a twin of me, who is molecular identical with me, but without inner experience.
, >Experience, >Qualia, >Phenomena, cf. >Artificial Consciousness, >Artificial Intelligence, >Strong AI.
I 95
Zombie Identity/Chalmers: The identity between my zombie twin and I will insist on the following levels:
1. Functional: he will process the same information as I do.
2. Psychological: he will show the same behavior.
Phenomenal: the zombie will not be identical with me: he will not have the same inner experiences.
I 96
Zombies/Chalmers: it is not a matter of whether the assumption of their existence is plausible, but whether it is conceptually incoherent. In any case, there are no hidden conceptual contradictions.
I 97
Conceivability: since such a zombie is not conceptually excluded, it follows that my conscious experience does not logically follow from the functional constitution of my organism.
Conclusion: (phenomenal) consciousness does not supervene logically on the physical.
I 131
Zombies/Necessity a posteriori/VsChalmers: one could argue that a zombie world would be merely logical, but not metaphysically possible. There is also a distinction between conceivability and true possibility.
>Necessity a posteriori, >Metaphysical possibility.
Necessary a posteriori/Kripke: For example, that water is H2O, this necessity is only a posteriori knowable. Then it is logical, but not metaphysically possible, that water is not H2O.
VsChalmers: it was unnatural to assume the same for zombies, and that would be enough to save materialism.
ChalmersVsVs: the notion of necessity a posteriori cannot bear the burden of this argument and is only a distraction maneuver. ((s) It is not brought into play by Kripke himself).
I 132
ChalmersVsVs: the argument against me would only have a prospect of success if we had used primary intensions (e.g. water and H2O), but we are dealing with secondary intensions (e.g. water and "wateriness"). Therefore, psychological/physical concepts a posteriori could pick out other things than what would correspond to the a priori distinction.
I 180
Zombie/Behavior/Explanation/Chalmers: since the relationships within my zombie twin are the exact reflection of my inner being, any explanation of his behavior will also count as an explanation of my behavior. It follows that the explanation of my assertions about consciousness is just as independent of the existence of consciousness as the explanation of the assertions of the zombies.
My zombie twin can adopt this argumentation, and complain about me as a zombie. It can mirror the whole situation.

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.

Cha I
D. Chalmers
The Conscious Mind Oxford New York 1996

Cha II
D. Chalmers
Constructing the World Oxford 2014

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2024-05-30
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