The Open UniversitySkip to content

The anti-zombie argument

Frankish, Keith (2007). The anti-zombie argument. Philosophical Quarterly, 57(229) pp. 650–666.

Full text available as:
PDF (Not Set) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (174Kb)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The zombie argument has come to occupy a central role in the case for a non-physicalist view of consciousness. This paper seeks to turn the tables on defenders of the argument ('zombists') by showing that a parallel argument can be run for physicalism. The argument invokes what I call anti-zombies – purely physical creatures that are nonetheless conscious. I show that, using the same resources as those employed by zombists, it is possible to construct an argument from the conceivability of anti-zombies to the truth of physicalism. l go on to defend the claim that anti-zombies are conceivable and to argue that the anti-zombie argument can be defeated only at the cost of rendering the zombie argument itself redundant. The moral of the paper is that dualists should not be zombists.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2007 The Author
ISSN: 0031-8094
Keywords: consciousness; zombie argument; zombies; conceivability; physicalism; property dualism
Academic Unit/Department: Arts > Philosophy
Item ID: 2191
Depositing User: Keith Frankish
Date Deposited: 29 May 2007
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2012 20:24
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340