The Zombie Argument and Physicalism Essay

The Zombie Argument and Physicalism Essay

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In the field of philosophy, zombies are imaginary creatures that are used to illuminate problems regarding consciousness and its relation to the physical world. As compared to those in witchcraft or films, zombies are exactly like human beings in every physical aspect but without conscious experiences. However, zombies behave like humans and some of them even spend considerable amount of time discussing consciousness. While few people believe in the existence of zombies, many state that they are at least conceivable and some argue that they are possible. Consequently, there are arguments that if zombies are increasingly a bare possibility, then some kind of dualism is true and physicalism is false. This argument is the chief significance of the zombie idea for many philosophers though it also generates interest for pre-suppositions concerning the nature of consciousness as well as the relation between the physical and the phenomenal. In addition, the use of the zombie idea against physicalism generates more general questions regarding the link between conceivability, imaginability, and possibility. Generally, the zombie argument poses a problem of physicalism and attracted response from physicalists who attempt to defuse the problem.
History of the Zombie Argument:
According to Descartes, non-human animals are automata, which imply that their behavior is completely explicable with regards to physical mechanisms (Kirk, 2011). The philosopher explored the concept of a machine that looked and behaved like a human being. Following his attempts to unmask such a machine, Descartes concluded that no machine could behave like a human being and that characteristically explaining human behavior needed something beyond the phy...

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...nstrate that physicalism is false because of the conceivability and possibility of the existence of zombies. This argument has attracted huge considerations in the field of philosophy as physicalists try to examine it because of the problem it poses to physicalism. Actually, the zombie argument attempts to show that physicalism is untrue by focusing on consciousness as an important part of the existence of physical things. The evaluations by physicalists have culminated in the development of various responses such as the anti-zombie argument for physicalism. Nonetheless, this response does not defuse the problem posed by the zombie argument to physicalism but rather contributes to dualism. In essence, dualists should not be zombists since both zombie and anti-zombie arguments are flawed for the same reason and are mutually exclusive and annihilate each other.

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