S5, Episode 9: Zombies

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Full Transcript of Zombies (*.docx format)

The second in a three-part series on monsters in philosophy. We trace the cultural history of zombies from voodoo folklore, George Romero films, and the zombies used in philosophical thought experiments. Folklore, film and philosophy seem to converge on the idea that consciousness above all else is what a creature needs to have to be worthy of moral concern, something a zombie lacks. But we have no idea when something crosses over from being a zombie to being conscious, particularly current AI systems. What happens then? Guest speakers are Christina van Dyke (Columbia), David Chalmers (NYU), and John Edgar Browning (Savannah College of Art and Design), and Eric Schwitzgebel (UC Riverside).