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The short answer is yes.
can you help me with my philosophy prep too?
Now I just want crack on with the work I've got on so that I can go home on time.
I am getting old.
it's really asking 'could zombies potentially exist?' and the answer is yes, as it is with anything else that you can imagine.
Is what you're imagining a zombie? No. Because Zombies can't exist.
but that's not the question at hand. The word 'possible' in metaphysics isn't strictly the same as the general use, it's more aligned with the idea of 'possible worlds', that sort of thing.
The old twisty-definitions methodology, eh?
but philosophy is full of that sort of stuff. I think it's because lots of the terminology is taken from Ancient Greek concepts and there's not a direct translation.
You can actually by philosophy dictionaries that list terms like this to avoid confusion...
Because the OED just doesn't have a sufficient range of words to describe, our arguments?
So shoddy philosophers who get tied up in their own circular arguments see the need to make up their own dictionary so as to provide a get-out clause.
I'm with Wittgenstein in espousing ordinary language philosophy - there is nothing wrong with ordinary language as it stands, and many traditional philosophical problems were only illusions brought on by misunderstandings about language..
due to the fact that he won't use specialist language.
The only confusions arise when a philosopher talks to a non-philosopher using technical terms.
dense and turgid and correct and accurate.
Than light and fluffy and spurious and obstinate.
And don't rely too heavily on the "It's difficult to explain to a non-philosopher using non-technical terms" card.
How do you think a doctor gets his point across to a patient?
How do you thing an Engineer gets his point across to a site labourer?
How do you think a teacher teaches?
i just said it can cause misunderstanding and confusing if philosophical language is used.
do you go to a doctor to cut out all of those long Latin words that you don't understand?
And I expect to converse with him in a mutually intelligible way.
If I wanted to learn latin, I'd go to latin lessons.
If I were going to a doctor in a foreign country with a language I couldn't speak, I'd need a translator.
We both have an understanding of a sufficient quantity of English woprds to be able to understand and answer the question "Are Zombies possible?", taken on the standard understanding of what "a aombie" is and what "possible" is.
You may well opt to use a set of definitions of "zombie" or "possible" that don't align with the standard understanding, but you need to make that clear first, if you're gonna say "no" is the wrong answer.
*words (silent p) :-)
rather than create a new one. For example, would it have been possible for me to have got up at a reasonable time this morning? Now I don't think any dictionary definition could give a consensus on an answer to that question: if anything is light and fluffy, it is the dictionary definition.
You therefore need a more rigorous definition of possibility, and once you have that, it's only natural to look at its application to more outlandish questions, such as "Are zombies possible?". Although I'm not totally convinced that's what the question's getting at. Not that I have some other reasonable explanation for it, it's just that... Seriously, that's a question?
Is fluffy. You're right.
Standard dictionary definitions probably won't provide a firm basis for a firm answer.
That doesn't mean that the terms of that question can't be defined.
We can pin down "this morning" fairly easily if need be. And mutually acceptible statistical data would provide a basis for what is generally accepted as a "reasonable time".
None of this makes the original question any less fluffy, we're just establishing some ground rules.
In the absence (as far as I'm aware) of any statistical data on zombies, the terms of the "Are Zombies possible?" question need to be made more explicit by the person asking the question. Otherwise, to start answering anything other than "no" requires qualifications beyond the question itself. Those qualifications need to be stated.
If anything else within the question is ill-defined, it doesn't really matter; as long as our notions of possibility are the same, we'd probably give the same answer.
That's the important bit, I wholeheartedly agree.
It was my notion that the zombie question was being extended beyond the realms of the original question, taken in it's simple form, and understood in the terms of commonly accepted definitions. Hence my request for clarifications if someone's trying to argue a "yes" answer.
That's the point, and surely what the question is getting at: it's looking for an answer *by way* of definition of possibility.
Go back to my example: would it have been possible for me to have got up at a reasonable time this morning? One person might say it would have been perfectly possible in the sense that people get up at reasonable times every day, and I've got up at reasonable times in the past, so why shouldn't it be possible?
Another person might say, though, that I *didn't* get up at a reasonable time, and that's all that matters. It might have *seemed* possible, at 8 o'clock in the morning, say, that I should get up at a reasonable time, since nothing had happened by that point to prevent it, but since I didn't actually get up at a reasonable time, in retrospect we can see that it wasn't really possible at all.
Recourse to a dictionary definition of possibility isn't going to give any consensus. You might then say, okay, we need a new definition of possibility, but whatever definition we come up with had better not create the implication that zombies are possible. Considering how you've argued against circularity already, however, I doubt you'd want to do that.
that says it wasn't possible for you to get up because you didn't actually get up.
There's every chance you /chose/ not to get up, or whatever (for whatever reason).
"Did not happen" =/= "not possible", surely.
but determinism definitely implies that notion of possibility.
Metaphysics doesn't exist either. So it all works out for me.
"Existing as a concept" =/= Existing.
Otherwise, you'd not need to qualify the existing bit with the "as a concept" bit.
if there's several forms of existence.
If you're swimming in treacle it's still swimming but you qualify it because people would usually associate it with water. Likewise, people usually associate 'existing' with 'having corporeal form'.
but surely part of zombies' conceptual existence is that they are fictional? Like the fact that they don't exist is part of their concept.
they're non-corporeal."Existence" and "having physical form" aren't interchangable terms.
I'm just struggling to use words in some sort of intelligible sense.
So zombies 'exist' conceptually. But a central tenet of the conept of zombies is that they don't exist, they're fictional, made up. How does metaphysics reconcile that? Or does it not need to because I'm talking gibberish?
it's as simple as that really. Existence doesn't require an example of something in the world.
FUCK YOU, METAPHYSICS
There are a number of definitions of possible.
None of them include the notion of possible meaning "not possible, but possible as a concept". To go down this nonsense road of "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" is just being argumentative for the sake of argument.
Unless we a) Define Zombie, and b) Define your constraints. Any discussion is purely speculative theory about some point in the future, at best. At worst it's a twisting of definitions to suit a deliberately contrary position.
whether you agree or not with the terminology.
Anyway, read this:
"side-stepping the fact that this is a very specific philosophy question"?
I'd say you're side-stepping my invitation to make yourself clear and a) Define Zombie, and b) Define your constraints.
Without doing that, you're merely discussing the question "Are Zombies possible?" rather than actually bothering to answering it.
Although if that was meant as part of an, ahem, "very specific philosophy question" please define:
e) "satisfying", and
Otherwise, you're just side-stepping the issue. ;-)
'There are a number of definitions of possible.
None of them include the notion of possible meaning "not possible, but possible as a concept".'
That's false. Well, strictly it's not because to say something is not possible but possible as a concept would be contradictory, but there are definitions of possibility which equate it to conceivability.
Definitions that the vast majority of the world's population would need outlining before we can begin to accept a "yes" answer.
Most intuitive way of considering possibility, if anything. Irrespective of that, however, this was a question on a PHILOSOPHY paper, and you are rejecting the notion of possibility equatable to conceivability in that context, so whether or not it matches some common sense notion is irrelevant.
that this was a question on a philosophy paper.
So on that basis, just answering yes or no isn't gonna cut it.
"Yes" was the first answer given, on the basis of a one word explanation: "metaphysics". And there's legs in that argument.
But I still contest that vast swathes of the discussion OF the question (and thus the philosophical debate) can be removed by better defining the terms of the question in the first place.
In the absence of those definitions the relevance of the debate is (rightly, imho) marginalised to the realms philosophty that circles on the issue of what it is that's actually being asked.
And then we're back to the assertion that much of philosophy is merely focused on merely re-defining language.
All IMHO, obv.
(Home time. I'm gone.)
so it's not a central tenet at all.
I don't really know any philosophy babble. The fact that they don't exist is pretty central to them if you're a philosophy layperson.
That said, I'll take your word for it as it seems you aren't a philosophy layperson.
would they not be zombies?
But the fact that zombies are the dead come back to eat the flesh of the living negates this. That's the level I went to.
b) Define your constraints.
did you have a good night last night? i thought it was great.
philosophy's fucking gay.
I was thoughtful enough to scan it in before you made this thread; I knew there could one day arise a situation where I would need it at short notice, and I guess this is it.