Can philosophical zombies dream? If so, are their dreams real? Are yours?

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Can philosophical zombies dream? If so, are their dreams real? Are yours?

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

When replying, please also specify whether you have fully read my book, In It Together, or not. Since my book deals heavily with the subject of consciousness and self, I think it will be interesting to see how the answers differ between those who have read my book in full already and those who have not yet read it.


For reference, a "Philosophical Zombie" is a person who is physically indistinguishable from a conscious person but actually isn't truly conscious. For example, a solipsist is a person who believes every other person except for themselves is a philosophical zombie.

In It Together (Page 124) wrote:We are the seemingly magical presence, the transcendentally real dreamer who makes the dream real by having dreamt it.
In It Together (Page 197) wrote:A dream is real insofar as it is dreamt, at least that is insofar as it is consciously dreamt.

Here are my questions for you:

1. Do philosophical zombies dream?

2. Are their dreams real?

3. Are yours?




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Image generated by AI. The prompt: "A philosophical zombie"
Image generated by AI. The prompt: "A philosophical zombie"
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Liza Chulukhadze
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Re: Can philosophical zombies dream? If so, are their dreams real? Are yours?

Post by Liza Chulukhadze »

In my opinion, philosophical zombies are real and they can dream too. I have not finished the book and think that their dreams could actually be real.
Sondang Hotmauli
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Re: Can philosophical zombies dream? If so, are their dreams real? Are yours?

Post by Sondang Hotmauli »

The question of whether philosophical zombies can dream is intriguing. If we define dreams as subjective experiences during sleep, it depends on whether consciousness is a necessary condition for dreaming. If philosophical zombies lack consciousness, it might be difficult to argue that they experience dreams in the same way conscious beings do.

Dreams are typically considered real subjective experiences while we are experiencing them, regardless of their content. However, if we consider dreams as products of consciousness, then philosophical zombies, lacking consciousness, might not have real dreams in the same sense as conscious beings.

As for our own dreams, they can be seen as real experiences of the mind, occurring within our consciousness. While dreams may not reflect physical reality, they hold subjective reality as mental experiences. They can evoke emotions, perceptions, and thoughts that feel real to the dreamer during the dream state.
Mikespice Mike
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Re: Can philosophical zombies dream? If so, are their dreams real? Are yours?

Post by Mikespice Mike »

For my dreams i guess they are real because have been believing in them and i hope one day they will come through
Dalia Chaouaf
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Re: Can philosophical zombies dream? If so, are their dreams real? Are yours?

Post by Dalia Chaouaf »

It's the first time I'm hearing about philosophical zombies, it was really interesting to discover this new thing. I think that dreams are just a way that our bodies relive things that have already happened in our pasts. That's why when we dream we always picture people that we know or that we have already seen, even if just in passing. Our "zombie brain" (if I can call it that) is not capable of forming new people, and that's why it recreates what it already knows.
Celestine Adhiambo
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Re: Can philosophical zombies dream? If so, are their dreams real? Are yours?

Post by Celestine Adhiambo »

Philosophical zombies, by definition, lack consciousness and subjective experience, so they wouldn't dream. Dreams are a product of conscious minds, and their reality is subjective, existing within the realm of personal experience.
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