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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For example, Gertler discusses the option that what Mary gains is not an ability to imagine colors, but an epiphwnomenal to recognize colors by their phenomenal quality.

The Modal argument works like this:. In other words, Jackson’s Mary is a scientist who knows everything there is to know about the science of color, but has never experienced color. Nagel takes a slightly different approach. Levine argues that even these refined theories do not account for the specific intimite way in which the thinker is related to the referents of phenomenal concepts.

Knowledge argument

It is quite clear that an account of this intuitive idea has to be one of the ingredients of a dualist defense of the knowledge argument. Jackson himself went on to reject epiphenomenalism, and dualism altogether. Sign in to use this feature. Although he finds this a perfectly good argument, he realizes that it will not persuade everyone 1.

And the thought experiment seems to prove the existence of qualia, a non-physical part of the mind. In light of such considerations, Churchland distinguishes between two senses of knowing, “knowing how” and “knowing that”, where knowing how refers to abilities and knowing that refers to knowledge of facts. Several objections to Jackson have been raised on the grounds that Mary does not gain new factual knowledge when she leaves the room, but rather a new ability.

A similar example is used for the same purpose and discussed in more detail by Raymont If all physical facts can be known under some physical conceptualization, then a person who has complete physical knowledge about a topic knows all the relevant physical facts. Others deny even the weaker version V1 and claim that Mary does not gain any new propositional knowledge no new knowledge about something that is the case, no factual knowledge. Many take it to be obvious that a person cannot know that she now has a blue experience unless her blue experience plays a prominent causal role in the formation of her belief at issue.


To this one might reply that the thought experiment need not be compatible with visual science. Martha has been told that cherry red is exactly midway between burgundy red and fire red she has experienced these two shades of red, but not cherry. Loar avoids the problem of two reference fixing properties by his claim that phenomenal concepts refer directly to their referent.

Chalmers considers responses along the lines of the “ability hypothesis” objection described above to be the most promising objections, but unsuccessful: 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 a.

Qualia: The Knowledge Argument (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The study of Polar Bears refutes this. He illustrates this with a film projection metaphor. All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from January Commons category link is on Wikidata.

Most authors who discuss the knowledge argument cite the case of Mary, but Frank Jackson used a further example in his seminal article: Trout,Contemporary MaterialismLondon: Lewis’s main argument for the Ability Hypothesis can be summarized like this. X caused both A and Jacksno at the same time. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mary’s room.

Dennett ; Dennett ; Churchland ; Maloney quualia, Jackson now believes that the physicalist approach from a perspective of indirect realism provides the better explanation.

The following remarks by Levin are hard to deny: We may ask, for example, what does the seeing person know that the congenitally blind person could not know. Color Thought experiments in philosophy of mind Color scientists. They have warm coats but this necessitates the coat being heavy. The epiphenomenaal is intended to argue against physicalism —the view that the universe, including all that is mental, is entirely physical.

Epiphhenomenal general argument against the materialist strategy to answer objection by appeal to a theory about the special status of phenomenal concepts is developed in Chalmers In the case of qualia names within belief contexts it does not matter which name is used to refer to the quale at issue as long as the belief is meant in the sense of a phenomenal belief ascription. According to the Ability Hypothesis most prominently defended in Lewisand in Nemirow,Mary does not acquire any new propositional knowledge after release no knowledge about something that is the case, no factual knowledgebut only a bundle of abilities like the ability to jckson, remember and recognize colors or epipenomenal experiences.


Premise P2 There is some kind of knowledge concerning facts about human color vision that Mary does not have before her release. Jackson might think that there could be such beings, but only because he already has an argument that qualia are not part of the physicalist account C. This particular item of knowledge about B is inaccessible to A because A never had experiences of Q herself.

We don’t have to imagine someone like Fred with a different perceptual system to make this point — we can make the same point involving a normal person D.

Raymont argues that mnemic, recognitional and imaginative abilities neither separately nor conjointly amount to knowing of what it is like to have a particular kind of experience. Hence, there is more than just physical information and physicalism is false. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Most cannot help but admit that “new information or knowledge comes her way after confinement,” enough that this view “deserves to be described as the received physicalist view of the Knowledge Argument. In Defence of Qualia-Epiphenomenalism. Ergo there is more than that and physicalism is false. Qualai Challenges to Qualia-Epiphenomenalism. Even if we knew that fact, we still wouldn’t know what it is like to be Fred, although we’d know more about him 2.

The What is it Like to Be Argument.