<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Polger (Thomas) - Zombies Explained (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_12/PaperSummary_12710.htm">Zombies Explained</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/P/Author_Polger (Thomas).htm">Polger (Thomas)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Ross (Don), Brook (Andrew) & Thompson (David) - Dennett's Philosophy, 2000</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=800><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_12/PaperSummary_12710.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_12/PaperCitings_12710.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_12/PapersToNotes_12710.htm">Notes Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><U>Author s Introduction</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"> <ol type="1"><li>Zombies are imaginary creatures that are stipulated to lack consciousness despite being otherwise identical in one way or another to human beings or other conscious creatures. In an essay titled <a name="2"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_00/Abstract_862.htm">Dennett (Daniel) - The Unimagined Preposterousness of Zombies: Commentary on Moody, Flanagan, and Polger</A>" Daniel Dennett laments the sad state of philosophy in which there is serious debate over whether or not this fictional kind of being is possible: <ul type="disc">Sometimes philosophers clutch an insupportable hypothesis to their bosoms and run headlong over the cliff edge. Then, like cartoon characters, they hang there in mid-air, until they notice what they have done and gravity takes over. Just such a boon is the philosophers' concept of a zombie, a strangely attractive notion that sums up, in one leaden lump, almost everything that I think is wrong with current thinking about consciousness. (<a name="5"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_03/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_3465.htm">JCS - Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 02, Issue 4 (1995)</A>", 1995, p. 322) </ul></li><li>The precipitant of Dennett's distress was an essay by Owen Flanagan and myself in which we critiqued a zombie <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_32.htm">thought experiment</A><SUP>1</SUP> created by Todd Moody (<a name="3"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_22/Abstract_22020.htm">Flanagan (Owen) & Polger (Thomas) - Zombies and the Function of Consciousness</A>", 1995; <a name="4"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_22/Abstract_22017.htm">Moody (Todd C.) - Conversations with Zombies</A>", 1994). Moody argues that it is impossible for a planet of zombies to evolve, because zombies could never originate mentalistic vocabulary. Flanagan and I thought that Moody's analysis missed the mark (and Dennett agreed). But we tried to use the notion of a zombie world to press questions about the evolution and function of consciousness. Dennett saw us as thereby legitimizing the zombie construct. To that charge we plead 'guilty'. We <em>do</em> think that zombies are a useful fiction. </li><li>The reprinting of Dennett's essay in his recent anthology, <a name="6"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_199.htm">Dennett (Daniel) - Brainchildren - Essays on Designing Minds</A>" (1998), provides an occasion to revisit the question of zombies. Dennett set down a challenge: "If the philosophical concept of zombies is so important, so useful, some philosopher ought to be able to say why in nonquestion-begging terms. I'll be curious to see if anybody can mount such a defense, but I won't be holding my breath" (1995, p. 326). Here it is. </li></ol> </FONT><hr><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>Comment: </B><BR><BR>See <a name="W3800W"></a><A HREF = "https://www.academia.edu/2695002/Zombies_explained" TARGET = "_top">Link</A> (pdf is downloadable, but not printable, nor can you cut and paste)<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T07:49" pubdate>02/08/2018 07:49:10</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>