THE OPEN UNIVERSITY BRANCH OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF PHILOSOPHY
Dr Henry Taylor (Cambridge University): What Can Zombies Teach Us About
Where: Newnham Terrace Seminar Room, Darwin College (enter by the main door on
When: 5.00pm to 7.00pm, Monday 5th December.
Entry is free and open to everybody.
For all enquires, email Derek Matravers
Consciousness is simultaneously the most intimate, and the most mysterious
aspect of our lives. In one sense, we know a lot about consciousness because we
are conscious beings. We know what it's like to look at a beautiful sunset, to
have a dream, to think about politics, to taste a lemon tart, or to listen to
music. These are all elements of our conscious lives that we are intimately
familiar with, and we know a lot about consciousness from a first person point
In another sense, we know almost nothing about consciousness. We have no idea
where it comes from, which animals have it, how it is related to the brain, and
whether or not it is part of the normal physical world.
In this lecture, Dr Taylor will outline the phenomenon of consciousness, and
why it has struck so many as so mysterious. Then he will look at the famous
'zombie' argument, which aims to show that consciousness is not a physical
phenomenon. He will also suggest some ways we might make progress about this
issue in the future.
Professor of Philosophy, The Open University
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