Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Reina Hayaki - Chair

Second Advisor

George Rainbolt

Third Advisor

Robert Almeder


In contemporary philosophy of mind, the issue of consciousness has taken center stage. Broadly speaking, those who deal with consciousness fall into two camps: those who prioritize empirical work and those who favor conceptual investigation. One prominent argument has served to deepen the divide: the argument for the possibility of zombies. In this paper I intend to examine closely this argument, as it’s presented by David Chalmers, and some of the attempts to discredit it. In so doing, I present some of my own arguments against it, as well as the claim that if it’s sound, then materialism is false. Finally, I present a sketch of a new way of thinking about consciousness that would, I argue, guard against the threat—real or merely apparent—of arguments such as the zombie-argument.

Included in

Philosophy Commons