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Philosophical Studies

, Volume 173, Issue 9, pp 2353–2375 | Cite as

How to befriend zombies: a guide for physicalists

  • Bradford SaadEmail author
Article

Abstract

Though not myself a physicalist, I develop a new argument against antiphysicalist positions that are motivated by zombie arguments. I first identify four general features of phenomenal states that are candidates for non-physical types; these are used to generate different types of zombie. I distinguish two antiphysicalist positions: strict dualism, which posits exactly one general non-physical type, and pluralism, which posits more than one such type. It turns out that zombie arguments threaten strict dualism and some pluralist positions as much as they threaten physicalism—indeed, more so, since such positions need zombies to motivate them as alternatives to physicalism—and that the only pluralist position that escapes zombie arguments has a radically inflated ontology.

Keywords

Consciousness Physicalism Zombies Dualism Conceivability 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I am grateful to Jaegwon Kim for helpful comments on two predecessors of this paper, to Josh Dever, Nina Emery, Chris Hill, and Josh Schechter for helpful comments on one predecessor of this paper, and to Robert Joynt, Han Li, Adam Pautz, and Nick Smyth for helpful discussion.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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