Abstract

One powerful argument for dualism is provided by Chalmers: the ‘zombie’ or conceivability argument. This paper aims to establish that if one adopts the ‘Powerful Qualities’ account of properties developed by Martin and Heil, this argument can be resisted at the first premise: the claim that zombies are conceivable is, by the lights of Chalmers’ own account of conceivability, false.

The Powerful Qualities account is outlined. Chalmers’ argument, and several distinctions which underlie it, are explained. It is argued that to make sense of the claim that zombies are conceivable, some account of properties must be given. The paper's central claim is presented and defended from potential responses: given the Powerful Qualities view, zombies are in fact inconceivable. Finally, an error theory is presented, which offers an explanation of why so many have taken the conceivability of zombies to be unproblematic, and the view is briefly contrasted with Russellian monism.

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