Physicalism and Phenomenal Concepts

Philosophical Studies 165 (1):257-277 (2013)
Frank Jackson’s famous Knowledge Argument moves from the premise that complete physical knowledge is not complete knowledge about experiences to the falsity of physicalism. In recent years, a consensus has emerged that the credibility of this and other well-known anti-physicalist arguments can be undermined by allowing that we possess a special category of concepts of experiences, phenomenal concepts, which are conceptually independent from physical/functional concepts. It is held by a large number of philosophers that since the conceptual independence of phenomenal concepts does not imply the metaphysical independence of phenomenal properties, physicalism is safe. This paper distinguishes between two versions of this novel physicalist strategy –Phenomenal Concept Strategy (PCS) – depending on how it cashes out “conceptual independence,” and argues that neither helps the physicalist cause. A dilemma for PCS arises: cashing out “conceptual independence” in a way compatible with physicalism requires abandoning some manifest phenomenological intuitions, and cashing it out in a way compatible with those intuitions requires dropping physicalism. The upshot is that contra Brian Loar and others, one cannot “have it both ways.”
Keywords Physicalism  Phenomenal Concepts  Phenomenal Concept Strategy  Knowledge Argument  Property Dualism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9959-7
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Frank Jackson (1982). Epiphenomenal Qualia. Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Katalin Balog (2012). In Defense of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):1-23.
Tim Crane (2005). Papineau on Phenomenal Concepts. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):155-162.
Luca Malatesti (2011). Thinking about phenomenal concepts. Synthesis Philosophica 26 (2):391-402.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

190 ( #9,813 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

24 ( #37,511 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.