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Conceiving what is not there

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In this paper I argue that certain so-called conceivability arguments fail to show that a currently popular version of physicalism in the philosophy of mind is false. Concentrating on an argument due to David Chalmers, I first argue that Chalmers misrepresents the relation between conceivability and possibility. I then argue that the intuition behind the conceivability of so-called zombie worlds can be accounted for without having to suppose that such worlds are genuinely conceivable. I conclude with some general remarks about the nature of conceivability.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA 94928, USA.

Publication date: August 1, 2001

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