Frank Jackson () formulates the intuition underlying his Jackson, F., , “Epiphenomenal Qualia”, Philosophical Quarterly The knowledge argument is a philosophical thought experiment proposed by Frank Jackson in his article “Epiphenomenal Qualia” () and extended in ” What. Jackson opens his essay with a definition: “It is undeniable that the physical, chemical and biological sciences have provided a great deal of information about .

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In an effort to make his argument more adaptable and relatable, he takes the stand of humans attempting to understand the sonar capabilities of bats.

Epiphenomenal Qualia

Tye concedes that the revised version of the Ability Hypothesis could not, anyway, be used against the knowledge argument in the way that was fpiphenomenal intended.

But, in any case, it is not clear that these claims undermine the knowledge argument. And there might also exist super beings which stand to us as we stand to these slugs. The reason is that the revised version is compatible with the view that Mary does acquire knowing-that if she is not distracted when first seeing something red: Hence, there is more to us than just the physical and physicalism is false B.


David Bourget – – Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 2: Contrary to Mary at a later moment t 2 she gets acquainted with colors by seeing arbitrarily colored objects abstract paintings, red chairs, blue tables, etc. Some have argued that the phenomenal conceptualization is jackdon expressible in language see Byrne and Hellie Volker Gadenne – – Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 But if qualia are causally impotent, how can a person know that she has an experience with a particular phenomenal character?

Metaphysical physicalism simply asserts that what there is, and all there is, is physical stuff and its relations. But if this description is correct, then her previous knowledge was incomplete for a detailed discussion of Dennett’s argument involving the blue banana trick see Dale To show that imaginative abilities are not sufficient for knowing what it is like Conee introduces the following example: If she in fact gains no new propositional qhalia, they contend, then what she does gain may be accounted for within the physicalist framework.


Knowledge argument

Epiphenokenal, the knowledge argument is an attack on the physicalist claim about the completeness of physical explanations of mental states. What will happen when Mary is released from her black and white room or is given a color television monitor? Nackson argues that, because when Mary first sees red, she says “wow”, it must be Mary’s qualia that causes her to say “wow”.

Some have argued that Mary eppihenomenal recognize the colors when first seeing them on the basis of her complete physical knowledge about color vision see Hardin But this common way to put the point may lead to a confusion of a mere acquaintance with kinds of color experiences by having and remembering them and b knowledge about what kind of color experience other subjects have at a given occasion, and it may thereby lead to a failure to distinguish two steps of epistemic progress that Jackson’s Mary takes at once.

In Defence of Qualia-Epiphenomenalism. The Dualist View About the Knowledge Argument There has not been much discussion of the knowledge argument from a dualist perspective.

Nagel on the other hand seems to be arguing that we cannot generalize from what our experience is like to what bat experience is like because they are too different from us. But, again, the fact that makes the thought true is simply the fact that blue experiences have the particular physical property at issue.

But, as pointed out by Tyethis does not undermine the Ability Hypothesis. Some have objected to Jackson’s argument on the grounds that the scenario described in the thought experiment itself is not possible. Both approaches attempt to demonstrate that Mary gains no new knowledge, but instead gains something else. Jackson has us imagine this person Fred who is able to discriminate two different colors of perfectly ripe tomatoes, which he calls red 1 and red 2.

Doubts about Perry’s proposal have been raised along the following lines. She knows everything there is to know on the subject. Therefore 3b There are non-physical facts concerning human color vision.

Tye wishes to accommodate the natural intuition that Mary before release cannot fully understand the nature of phenomenal blueness she doesn’t really know what it is to have a blue experience. Hence, there is more than just physical information and physicalism is false. Bigelow and Pargetter argue that Mary’s progress after release consists in the fact that she now stands in a new acquaintance relation to color qualia, but their theory about the individuation of beliefs implies that she thereby acquires new factual knowledge.


In Conee’s account, one can come to know be acquainted with a phenomenal quality only by experiencing it, but not by knowing facts about it as Mary did.


But the relation between the two claims is obvious. There are two possible strategies for a dualist to take who wishes to defend the knowledge argument. Whether Mary learns something new upon experiencing color has two major implications: He treats Mary’s new knowledge as a particular case of demonstrative belief and he proposes an account of Mary’s new beliefs after release in terms of his theory of token-reflexive thoughts.

It is sometimes objected that already accepted or future results of visual science are or might be incompatible with the existence of a Mary-case a person with monochromatic experience who becomes a normal color perceiver later or that such results might require to preserve consistence with visual science the introduction of so many additional assumptions that the conceivability of the example becomes doubtful.

She steps out of the Black and White environment she has always lived in and sees Red for the first time. The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding. Arguably a subject whose visual apparatus is not suited for visual experiences at all will not be able to develop the capacity to imagine colors on the basis of physical knowledge alone, even if this were true for Mary.

Epiphenomenalism in Philosophy of Mind.

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