One of the most shocking discoveries of modern analytic philosophy is that of the Zombie – a creature which behaves just like a human in every conceivable way but which does not experience consciously. In the jargon, it has no qualia.
This novel serves two purposes. The first is to introduce the public to some of the most significant issues of philosophy in an approachable and familiar way. The second is to contribute to the philosophical project by giving those working on the Philosophy of Mind a clear visualisation of exactly what life as a philosophical zombie would be like. David Chalmers has observed that the author has made a number of misleading attributions of qualia to the characters – however in fact the author is only ever ascribing patterns of behaviour, which the author labels using the descriptively useful terms of emotions. In normal humans those behaviours are, of course, typically accompanied by qualia.
There is, of course, an additional twist! One of the characters is not a zombie. Try to guess which one.
You can also read my new novel – Pride and Presentism – the story of Elizabeth Bennet as though only the present moment is real and supposed references to past and future are merely conversational fictions.
The text for Pride and Prejudice and Philosophical Zombies.
The text for Pride and Presentism.
Originally posted here as a standalone site.