Philosophical Zombies are a thought experiment that is used to argue for dualism and against functionalism. The argument goes something like this:
- A purely functionalist account of the mind fails to distinguish between a person with subjective experience and a philosophical zombie (P-zombie) who has all the outward appearances and behavior of a person, but doesn't have any conscious subjective experience. Functionalism therefore fails to account for a key feature of the mind-body connection which is subjective experience.
Now consider a similar thought experiment:
We have 2 subjects who are outwardly and functionally identical in every way, and both have conscious subjective first person experience.
The first person however makes conscious decisions and goes though life choosing to drink tea or to drink coffee, to turn left or turn right, to vote for Clinton or for Trump, etc...
The second person goes through life in an entirely reflexive way. They can perceive what's happening around them as well as any conscious being, but they never make any conscious decisions to do anything. They go through life on auto-pilot, and everything thing they do is a reflex. Call this person a FW-Zombie.
A FW-zombie has freewill according to compatibilists, but not according to those who argue for libertarian freewill.
The concept of FW-zombie shows that compatibilist freewill fails to differentiate between a person performing conscious intentional decisions and a person going through life on auto-pilot, and therefore fails to give a complete account of our experience of freewill.
If the conceivability of a P-zombie is enough to provide a serious argument against functionalism and for dualism, then is the conceivability of a FW-zombie a serious argument against compatibilism and for libertarian freewill?
If anything a FW-zombie seems like a more realistic concept than a P-zombie. Although P-zombies are purely conceptual, many people go through FW-zombie like experiences in real life, if only for brief amounts of time.
But I am not trying to argue for the reality of FW-zombies. Nor am I trying to understand the validity of conceivability based arguments.
My question is the following:
If we are willing to accept conceivability based arguments like P-zombies or Twin Earth as legitimate, then is the FW-zombie argument I suggested above a valid argument against compatibilism and for libertarian freewill?
Someone flagged this as a possible duplicate of another p-zombie question. This is question is not about P-zombies as usually defined, but about a reimagining of the p-zombie so that it applies to freewill instead of qualia.