Vagueness and zombies: why ‘phenomenally conscious’ has no borderline cases

Philosophical Studies 174 (8):2105-2123 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
I argue that there can be no such thing as a borderline case of the predicate ‘phenomenally conscious’: for any given creature at any given time, it cannot be vague whether that creature is phenomenally conscious at that time. I first defend the Positive Characterization Thesis, which says that for any borderline case of any predicate there is a positive characterization of that case that can show any sufficiently competent speaker what makes it a borderline case. I then appeal to the familiar claim that zombies are conceivable, and I argue that this claim entails that there can be no positive characterizations of borderline cases of ‘phenomenally conscious’. By the Positive Characterization Thesis, it follows that ‘phenomenally conscious’ can not have any borderline cases.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
ISBN(s)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
SIMVAZ
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-10-05
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Word and Object.Quine, Willard Van Orman

View all 38 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2016-09-27

Total views
192 ( #17,441 of 42,944 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
29 ( #22,064 of 42,944 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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