Could Daniel Dennett be a zombie?

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
This article was primarily a reaction to Dennett's Sweet Dreams (2005). In it Dennett pretends to renounce zombies. But what he means is that consciousness is nothing beyond that which can be tested behaviorally and objectively, so since zombies pass these tests, they can't be said to be unconscious – yet that is part of their definition. So they are a contradiction. In other words, zombies are inconceivable because a being that is "behaviorally, objectively indistinguishable from a conscious person" just doesn't deserve in Dennett's eyes to be called unconscious. I argue, to the contrary, that zombies must lack brains since it is perfectly clear that in our universe having a brain (normally) entails having consciousness. I argue also that brain states are about people and things in the world, meaning for example that for some brain state S, necessarily if one is in brain state S, one is thinking about external object A. The brain "comes with" a world. The brain, therefore, transcends the boundaries of the skull. Science (and Dennett) cannot reduce the brain to something that doesn't pull off this most astonishing of feats.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
KEACDD
Upload history
Archival date: 2016-02-13
View other versions
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
2,091 ( #1,340 of 58,333 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
76 ( #8,908 of 58,333 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.