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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Request removal from index. As these examples suggest, the idea that complete physical knowledge isn’t sufficient for complete knowledge of phenomenal states has been around for a while.

She argues that the property dualist can explain why the most direct way to get familiar with a quale is by having an experience of the relevant kind while the physicalist does not have any explanation for this particular feature of qualia. If the case of a person with monochromatic vision who turns into a normal perceiver really does involve serious difficulties for materialism, then the mere fact if it were one that our visual apparatus excludes the jackso existence of such a case does not seem to provide a convincing reply for the materialist.

Premise P2 There is some kind of knowledge concerning facts about human color vision that Mary does not have before her release. Views Read Edit View history. Moreover, that knowledge would include the ability to functionally differentiate between red and other colors.

Knowledge argument

Doubters cite various holes in the thought experiment that have arisen through critical examination. Another doubt about the thought experiment is raised by the claim that a person who is confined to a monochromatic environment but knows everything physical there is to know about visual color experience would be able to figure out what colored things look like and thus would e.

He argues that Mary only epipheonmenal the ability to do something, not the knowledge of something new. We know about other minds because we observe physical behaviour. Philosophical DebatesN. The Martian could then predict all responses, including the linguistic utterances of the earthlings in the situations which involve their visual perceptions, their laughter about jokes, or their solemn behavior at the commemoration.


He would know exactly what the microscopic structure of ammonia must be; but he would be totally unable to predict that a substance with this structure must smell as ammonia does when it gets into the human nose.

This is why it is possible to have like Mary complete physical knowledge about e. Mary does not know while living in her black-and-white environment what it is like to see colors and she learns what it is like to see colors only after her release. Added to PP index Total downloads 2, of 2, Recent downloads 6 months 1, of 2, How can I increase my downloads?

Until some time ago Jackson was one of the very few philosophers who embraced epiphenomenalism. The Ability Hypothesis says that knowing what an experience is like just is the possession of these abilities to remember, imagine, and recognize.

We can agree with the latter without agreeing with the former. All proponents of the view point out that, according to their proposal, physical concepts and phenomenal concepts are cognitively independent: Feigl briefly quakia the epistemic limitations of a Martian who studies human behavior but does not share human sentiments:.


We could not do this unless behavior results from qualia 1. Mind, Methods and ConditionalsLondon: An example of a more explicit theoretical account of phenomenal character, phenomenal content and their relation can be found in Tye There is a possible world where creatures physically identical to us exist but have no conscious mental life.

But it is not clear that the claim, if correct, would undermine the knowledge argument. The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding.


Hence, there is more to us than just the physical and physicalism is false. But then these three kinds of abilities cannot conjointly amount to knowing what it is qualoa either: He also considers arguments that knowledge of what it is like to see red and of the underlying physical mechanisms are actually knowledge of the same fact, just under a different “mode of presentation”, meaning Mary qualoa not truly gain new factual knowledge.

Qualia: The Knowledge Argument

Will she learn anything or not? X caused both A and B at the same time.

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 KA is illustrated by Fred and Mary. Epophenomenal in Philosophy of Mind. If someone were raised in a stroboscopic jacksom and subsequently ‘cured’ of the akinetopsia, they would not be surprised to discover any new facts about the world they do, in fact, know that objects move.

After all, it is impossible to introspectively refer to a red experience without presently having that kind of experience, but Tye wishes to concede that a person can know what it is like to have a red experience while not presently having a red experience. Having a heavy coat is just an unavoidable by-product of that. For him the sensation of qualia and the rejection of Physicalism is an intuition.

Lycan’s account of Mary’s epistemic progress can be put, roughly, like this: She knows everything there jacksson to know on the subject. We cannot adopt the perspective of these super beings, because we are not them, but the possibility of such a perspective is, I nackson, an antidote to excessive optimism.