Monsters Among Us

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (sup1):167-184 (2001)
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There are monsters that scare children and monsters that scare grownups, and then there are monsters that scare philosophers of mind. This paper is concerned with this third sort of monster, whose primary representative is the zombie—a living being, physically just like a person but lacking consciousness. Though zombies act like normal people and appear to have normal brains, everything is blank inside. Unfortunately, the term ‘zombie’ covers a narrower class of deficits than is convenient, failing to cover apparently normal human beings lacking propositional attitudes. Davidson’s “Swampman” is supposed to be an example of such a creature, so I will dub individuals who are apparently normal but lack all propositional attitudes ‘swampfolk,’ though this is non-standard terminology. In what follows, I will refer to both zombies and swampfolk as ‘monsters,’ and will similarly designate animals lacking in consciousness or propositional attitudes.

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Timothy Schroeder
Rice University


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