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Zombies, Phenomenal Concepts, and the Paradox of Phenomenal Judgment

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This paper explores the viability of rejecting a largely unchallenged third premise of the conceivability argument against materialism. Fittingly labeled 'type-Z' (for zombie), this reply essentially grants to the zombie lover, not just the possibility of zombies, but also their actuality. We turn out to be the very creatures Chalmers has taken such great pains to conceive and more conventional materialists have tried to wipe off the face of the planet. So consciousness (at least for us) is a wholly material affair. What is conceivable but non-actual are not zombies, but rather 'angelic' beings possessing an acquaintance with supermaterial phenomenal states. After showing how Chalmers' recent discussion of the phenomenal concepts strategy should incline those pursuing such a strategy toward a type-Z response, this paper relates type- Z materialism to similar replies that Chalmers has found 'hard to classify' and closes with a brief remark about how a type-Z materialist might reply to the knowledge argument.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, University of Nevada - Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Pkwy., Box 455028, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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