Conceivability and possibility: Denying the link
Conceivability has been used in modern philosophical history to reveal what is and is not possible. Conceivability arguments have intuitive pull, however, they are misguided. David Chalmers offers a compelling conceivability argument which if he is right shows how the conceivability of zombies is proof that physicalism is false. This thesis shows the flaws in Chalmers' argument. While his account of two-dimensional semantics attempts to handle post-Kripkean a posteriori necessities, he fails to show that zombies are conceivable in a way to rule out a posteriori physicalism. He maintains that this position in only tenable if one holds a panprotopsychist thesis, a position in which the physical facts about our world rely on fundamental categorical properties which may be phenomenal or protophenomenal. This is an acceptable position for him, however, he would not like the conclusion that conceivability is not a guide to possibility.