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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Am I a p-zombie?

 The p-zombie and the non-p-zombie alike could have the idea of the entirety of the constituents comprising their "world view", recognizing that some of those constituents were public (or objective) and some private (or subjective). They would both use language as they have been trained to use language by participation in their respective linguistic communities. They could conceivably both assign the word "mind" or the term "conscious experience" to that entirety of constituents, and even describe that entirety as the "what it is like to be me". They could both conceivably recognize the impossibility of acquiring any evidence via their sense organs (i.e. empirical evidence) to support or refute the existence of an external world. Any third-person claim (i.e. a claim from any other p-zombie or non-p-zombie appearing as part of that totality of constituents) made for metaphysical solipsism would clearly be mistaken (since the third person is part of the constituents of at least one other mind), but how might this be taken as an argument for the existence of an external world (i.e. as a repudiation of metaphysical solipsism) for the host entirety in which these ideas emerge (i.e. in the first-person case)? -- only by inductive reasoning. This is sufficient for me to repudiate metaphysical solipsism, but I must still acknowledge Hume's argument regarding inductive reasoning (i.e. I must still acknowledge that I don't have any apodictic proof of the existence of an external world). All I have is a repudiation of metaphysical solipsism, not a refutation. But the real question this brings to light concerns the distinction between the p-zombie and the non-p-zombie: am I really something over and above what the p-zombie is?

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