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Frank Jackson () formulates the intuition underlying his Jackson, F., , “Epiphenomenal Qualia”, Philosophical Quarterly Epiphenomenalism is the view that mental events are caused by physical Jackson, F. () “Epiphenomenal Qualia”, The Philosophical. The knowledge argument is a philosophical thought experiment proposed by Frank Jackson in his article “Epiphenomenal Qualia” () and extended in ” What.

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Besides containing the analogy of the steam-whistle that contributes nothing to the locomotive’s work, this essay compares consciousness to the sound of the bell of a clock that has no role in keeping the time, and treats volition as a symbol in consciousness of the brain-state cause of an action. On this view, a fact might be physical but not discursively learnable. Under the assumption that it is impossible to have two different phenomenal concepts of one and the same quale, the objection is met: It is an old argument, however, and clear statements of it were offered by James and by Romanes in see Romanes, Harvard University Press, If he is right, then all truths about color vision would be deducible from P the complete physical truth.

Now, either of these possibilities is compatible with all the physical information we have; i. Jackson argues that if Mary does learn something new upon experiencing color, then physicalism is false.

They presume that epiphenomenalism is to be avoided, and they go to great lengths to try to show that they have avoided incurring that anathema, despite maintaining the sufficiency of physical causation in conjunction with some kind of distinction between the mental and the physical. Enhanced bibliography for this entry at PhilPaperswith links to its database. Mirror Sites View this site from another server: This conclusion appears to give a causal role to phenomenal properties and thus to suggest a way out of epiphenomenalism.


See Bailey for this objection and Robinson for discussion. But we have insight into why it is that a given configuration of parts, surrounded by a certain kind of system, is necessarily a pump. But, as pointed out by Tyethis does not undermine the Ability Hypothesis. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mary’s room.

Qualia: The Knowledge Argument

But this is impossible if, as Jackson suggests, epiphenomenalism is true: Dennett argues that functional knowledge is identical to the experience, with no ineffable ‘qualia’ left over.

Maybe our intuition that she learns something fails to take this sort of consideration into account Dennett These authors accept the first premise of both versions of the argument and the second premise of the first version as well, but they deny the second premise of the second version and insist that 2a does not imply 2b.

Interestingly, he combines this view with qyalia ability hypothesis. Epiphenomenalism is the view that mental events are caused by physical events in epihenomenal brain, but have no effects upon any physical events. Martha, “who is highly skilled at visualizing an intermediate shade that she has not experienced between pairs of shades that she has experienced One might think that his view is incompatible with the intuition at issue.

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. Comments and further criticisms observations please. For replies, see ChalmersAlterRobinsonand Jacquette If one singular fact can be known under a physical mode of presentation as well as under a phenomenal mode of presentation, then the two items of knowledge involve two concepts a phenomenal and a physical concept with different primary intensions and these different primary intensions correspond to different properties.

Barring neural events that are inexplicably in violation of biological constraints on their conditions of activation, there must be an adequate physical cause of every link in the causal chain leading to behavior. One is to reject the learning claim: More recently Michael Tye defends the acquaintance hypothesis as the right answer to the knowledge argument thereby abondoning his original response see below 4.


An alternative response can be found in Chalmers ; see also Nagasawa, The subset view is the subject of lively debate; see, e. Epiphenomenalists would simply have to accept a brute and unscientific view of pre-established harmony of affective valuation of feelings and the utility of their causes.

Nemirow and Lewis present the “ability hypothesis”, and Conee argues for the “acquaintance hypothesis”. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Related Arguments The knowledge argument is one of several ways to articulate the suspicion that phenomenal consciousness is not physical.

Epiphenomenalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

These physicalists argue that phenomenal truths are themselves high-level physical truths, and that it is question-begging to assume that Mary jcakson all the physical truths simply because she watches lectures on chemistry, physics, etc. He proposes a representationalist account of phenomenal character.

Dennett ; Dennett ; Churchland ; Maloney One may doubt that this claim is jacison with jacksln widely accepted assumption that physical knowledge can be acquired independently of one’s particular perceptual apparatus. Directly causing is an intransitive relation. Science Logic and Mathematics. This conclusion is compatible with holding that a proper description of S’s behavior should refer to circumstances external to S. They cannot be taken to represent any knowledge about pains on S’s part if S’s epiphenomenalist view is true.

As Chalmers notes, the knowledge argument, the conceivability argument, and the explanatory argument can be seen as instances of a general, three-step argument. The knowledge argument aims to establish that conscious experience involves non-physical properties.