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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But, again, the fact that makes the thought true is simply the fact that blue experiences have the particular physical property at issue. A possible and common response is to simply doubt these claims. A final objection to epiphenomenalism: Hans Muller – – Philosophia epiphrnomenal 1: 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.

He illustrates this with a film projection metaphor.

The Bogey of Epiphenomenalism In one mode of presentation Venus is given as the heavenly body visible late in the morning or some similar propertywhereas in the other mode of presentation the object is given as the heavenly body visble early in the evening. In light of such considerations, Churchland distinguishes between two senses of knowing, “knowing how” and “knowing that”, where epiphenomeal how refers to abilities and knowing that refers to knowledge of facts. Moreover, that knowledge would include the ability to functionally differentiate between red and other colors.

Premise P2 There is some kind of knowledge concerning facts about human color vision that Mary does not have before her release. He argues that while staring at something that looks red to her, she would have knowledge of what it is like to see red, even though she lacks the ability to imagine what it is like. Using this new concept she can form new beliefs and acquire new knowledge about phenomenal blueness. Uackson Cavedon-Taylor – – Philosophia 37 1: Jackson seems to find the modal argument against physicalism qualix persuasive than the knowledge argument 1.

Doubters cite epjphenomenal holes in the thought experiment that have arisen through critical examination.

Epipheomenal Tools How to cite this entry. New Essays on Consciousness and PhysicalismOxford: Mary is the worlds greatest expert on vision and colour perception. He lacks a specific locating piece of de se knowledge. Obviously, Mary could not have first person thoughts about color quala she could not use imagined blue experiences in order to refer and to think about blue experiences before she ever had blue experiences.


The acceptability of its second premise P2 Mary lacks factual knowledge before release and of the inferences from P1 Mary has complete physical knowledge before release to C1 Mary knows all the physical facts and from P2 to Epophenomenal Mary does not know some facts before release depend on quite technical and controversial issues about a the appropriate theory of property concepts and their relation to the properties they express and b the appropriate theory of belief content. 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.

If Mary is distracted and does not attend to her experience when she first sees a red object, then she need not apply any concept to her experience at all. A friend of the knowledge argument might concede that a person is acquainted with Q only if she has or had an experience with property Q but he would have to insist that being acquainted with Q in that sense is a necessary condition for being able to know in the relevant sense eliphenomenal an experience has Q.

Knowledge argument

We may ask, for example, what does the seeing person know that the congenitally blind person could not know. 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.

Philosophy of mind series. Alison Gopnik – – Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 1: Jackson argues that knowledge about qualia is impossible if qualia are epiphenomenal and he concludes that something must be wrong with the knowledge argument.

Epiphenomenal Qualia

Some have argued that Mary would recognize the colors when first seeing them on the basis of her complete physical knowledge about color vision see Hardin Once these two steps are clearly distinguished one may conclude that Marianna’s relevant epistemic progress at t 3 and Mary’s relevant progress after release is not happily described by talk of knowing what it’s like.

It seems clear that no amount of knowledge about what happens in his brain and about how color information is processed in his visual system will help us to find an answer to that question. Gertler uses this disparity to oppose Conee’s account: A cannot know that B has an experience of a particular quality Q on certain occasions. The Modal argument works like this: There is some kind of knowledge concerning facts about human color vision that Mary does not have before her release.


But if qualia are causally impotent, how can a person know that she has an experience with a particular phenomenal character? LewisLewis’s main argument for the Ability Hypothesis can be summarized like this. There is no such possible situation. Most authors who discuss the knowledge argument cite the case of Mary, but Frank Jackson used a further example in his seminal article: This particular problem has been formulated as an objection against the knowledge argument in Watkins The argument may thus be reformulated in two different ways:.

Dennett ; Dennett ; Churchland ; Maloney Retrieved December 2, Once C1 and C2 are accepted, there is obviously no way to avoid C3 which follows logically from the former two. If you believe qualia can cause things in the physical world then believing in them as non physical entities is like believing in fairies and people are embarrassed about that. Until some time ago Jackson was one of the very few philosophers who embraced epiphenomenalism.

Block gives a detailed answer to White based on jacmson distinction between what he labels cognitive and metaphysical modes of presentation. But she had all the physical information.

Qualia: The Knowledge Argument

Jacksob, is seems hard to deny that it is in principle possible to have complete physical knowledge about human color vision or about an appropriately chosen part thereof. According to the HPI knowing what it is like is propositional in the following sense: At t 2Marianna may wonder which of four slides a red, a blue, a green and a yellow slide appears to her in the color normal people experience when looking at the cloudless sky.

He proposes a representationalist account of phenomenal character. For the sake of argument, we assume compete physical 1 or 2 predictability uackson explainability of the behavior of humans equipped with vision, a sense of humor, and sentiments of piety.

Therefore 3 Not all information is physical information.