Ghosts and spare properties: Why physicalists have more to fear from ghosts than zomb

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Ghosts and spare properties: Why physicalists have more to fear from ghosts than zombies

Quote:Zombies are bodies without minds: creatures that are physically identical to actual human beings, but which have no conscious experience. Much of the consciousness literature concerns how threatening philosophical reflection on such creatures is to physicalism. There is not much attention given to the converse possibility, the possibility of minds without bodies, that is, creatures who are conscious but whose nature is exhausted by their being conscious. We can call such a ‘purely conscious’ creature a ghost.In this paper, I will claim that philosophical reflection on zombies is not threatening to all forms of physicalism: specifically it causes no difficulties for the non-standard form of physicalism I like to call ‘funnyph ysicalism’.

I go on to claim that philosophical reflection on ghosts leads to powerful arguments against all forms of physicalism, including funny physicalism. In this sense, physicalists have more to fear fromghosts than from zombies.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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