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date: 13 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Levine (1998, 2001) argues that though the conceivability of zombies manifests the existence of an explanatory gap between the physical and the mental, there was good reason to adopt materialism. On the other hand, Levine (2014) voices doubt about the viability of materialism in the face of the explanatory gap. The inference to the rejection of materialism takes the form of an inference to the best explanation; the best explanation of the existence and persistence of the explanatory gap is that there is a genuine metaphysical gap. This chapter will outline the principal argument that the rejection of materialism follows rather directly from the conceivability of zombies and explain why that argument is unacceptable. A related argument against materialism will be considered and rejected before considering an argument that some materialists have presented, that the explanatory gap is not really such a problem for materialists after all. The chapter will try to explain why the inference to the best explanation still holds in the face of this argument.

Keywords: Zombies, conceivability, explanatory gap, materialism, dualism

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