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Zombies and Consciousness$
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Robert Kirk

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285488

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199285489.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Zombies and Consciousness

Robert Kirk

Oxford University Press

A cook was charged with cruelty to animals for putting live prawns on a hot-plate, but the case was dropped for lack of expertise on whether prawns could suffer pain. What matters from the point of view of an interest in whether a creature is phenomenally conscious: whether there is ‘something it is like’ for it? Even if all the physical facts are known, might it still lack phenomenal consciousness, as ‘zombists’ (those who think zombies are conceivable) claim? The problem is not merely scientific: philosophical explanations are needed. This chapter introduces those and other central topics, and outlines the book.

Keywords:   humble creatures, pain, phenomenal consciousness, philosophy, science, zombies

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