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Binghamton Journal of Philosophy

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013

Julietta Rose
Pages 105-132

Is Chalmers’s Zombie Argument Self-Refuting? And How

In this paper, I will try to show that David Chalmers’s Zombie Argument does not show that property dualism about consciousness is true. I argue that the two main premises of the argument are contradictory, and that therefore the argument is self-refuting. The Zombie argu­ment relies on it being the case that I can only conceive of my Zombie Twin if consciousness does not logically supervene on the physical. Chalmers argues that Zombie Twins are coherently conceivable by eve­rybody, if we only try hard enough, and that it therefore follows that consciousness does not logically supervene on the physical. However, I argue that under one conception Zombie Twins are not coherently conceivable, in which case the argument fails; and that under another conception they are coherently conceivable, but show property dual­ism to be false. In the end, my paper shows that Zombie Twins are not conceivable in the way that Chalmers has argued is necessary, and that they are therefore irrelevant to a discussion of consciousness.