Conceivability, Possibility and Materialism

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Karol Polcyn


Materialism is the view according to which a zombie world is metaphysically impossible. Assuming that zombies are conceivable in the sense that we cannot rule out a priori that our world is a zombie world, materialists must hold that a zombie world is metaphysically impossible despite being conceivable. There are no good reasons to think that this view (type-B materialism) is false, since there are no good reasons to think that the corresponding phenomenal and physical/functional concepts cannot be distinct concepts of the same thing. Nonetheless, we cannot understand how type-B materialism can be true. We cannot understand this, because we cannot in principle explain how a zombie world could be impossible despite being conceivable.


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Polcyn, Karol. (2022) 2022. “Conceivability, Possibility and Materialism”. Diametros 19 (73):20-34.
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