Organon F

Volume 27, August 2020, Issue 3, Pages 395–410

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article

Does the Conceivability of Zombies Entail Their Possibility?

Karol Polcyn 


According to the two-dimensional argument against materialism, developed by David Chalmers, the conceivability of zombies entails primary possibility, and the primary possibility of zombies entails further secondary possibility. I argue that the move from the conceivability to primary possibility of zombies is unjustified. Zombies are primarily impossible despite being conceivable if the corresponding phenomenal and microphysical concepts have coinciding primary intensions (refer to the same properties in all possible worlds considered as actual) despite being distinct concepts. But there is no good reason to think that phenomenal and microphysical concepts cannot have coinciding primary intensions despite being distinct concepts. As I argue, this conclusion follows from reflection on special cognitive features of phenomenal concepts.


Conceivability; consciousness; phenomenal concepts; possibility; two-dimensional semantics.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Karol Polcyn


University of Szczecin


Institute of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, University of Szczecin, ul. Krakowska 71-79, 71-017 Szczecin, Poland


About this article


11 July 2019


10 February 2020

Published online

1 March 2020


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Polcyn, K. (2020). Does the Conceivability of Zombies Entail Their Possibility? Organon F27(3), 395–410.


Polcyn, Karol. 2020. "Does the Conceivability of Zombies Entail Their Possibility?" Organon F 27 (3): 395–410.


Polcyn, K.  (2020). Does the Conceivability of Zombies Entail Their Possibility? Organon F, 27(3), pp. 395–410.

Copyright information

© Karol Polcyn

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