Monday 27 May, 4-5.30pm in ic1.108
Can physical causes account for consciousness?
If so, David Chalmers argues, then beings could exist — zombies — who look and behave like us in every way except that they don't have a conscious experience of their existence. Why? Because a purely physical or material account of human existence and behaviour does not require an account of consciousness. As far a neuroscience or behavioural psychology are concerned, for example, consciousness is redundant for the account — an explanatory excess.
Nevertheless, we experience consciousness.
Therefore, or so David Chalmers argues (if I have understood him correctly), a purely physical/material account of what it is to be a human being cannot explain the existence of consciousness.
Grapple, grapple, grapple with the philosophical zombies.
We'll discuss Chalmers' work.
We'll discuss this 10 minute interview with Chalmers on his 1996 book The Conscious Mind:
And another short but much more recent interview with Chalmers on consciousness (He has almost mastered the Descartes look):
A couple of great resources on philosophical zombies are this 1999 paper by Daniel Dennett on philosophical zombies, and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Philosophical Zombies.
Treasurer, Deakin Philosophical Society.
P.S. Details of forthcoming Deakin Tuesday Philosophy Seminars are available on the Philevents website.