Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 42, 2008

Philosophy of Mind

Woojin Han
Pages 77-84

The Conditional Analysis of Phenomenal Concepts
Too Good to be True

John Hawthorne (2002), David Braddon-Mitchell (2003), and Robert Stalnaker (2002), almost simultaneously but independently, developed a physicalistic argument which depends on such two conditional analyses: (1) If we experience dualistic pain, zombies are possible; (2) If our world is physicalistic, zombies are impossible. Hawthorne assumes that only an oracle will tell us which conditional is the case. From this setting, he concludes that zombies are conceivable but impossible. I first show that Hawthorne actually fails in deriving neither the conceivability of zombies nor their impossibility. Next, I argue that Hawthorne’s reasoning entails an absurdity that any entity like God, whose existence is controversial, will be conceivable but impossible.