Dissolving the explanatory gap: Neurobiological differences between phenomenal and propositional knowledge [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Brain and Mind 3 (3):331-365 (2002)
The explanatory gap and theknowledge argument are rooted in the conflationof propositional and phenomenal knowledge. Thebasic knowledge argument is based on theconsideration that ``physical information'' aboutthe nervous system is unable to provide theknowledge of a ``color experience'' . The implication is that physicalism isincomplete or false because it leaves somethingunexplained. The problem with Jackson'sargument is that physical information has theform of highly symbolic propositional knowledgewhereas phenomenal knowledge consists in innateneurophysiological processes. In addition totheir fundamental epistemological differences,clinical, anatomical, pathological and brainimaging studies demonstrate that phenomenal andpropositional knowledge are fundamentallydifferent neurobiological processes. Propositional knowledge is phylogeneticallynew, highly symbolic, culturally acquired,exclusively human and expressible in differentnatural and artificial languages. By contrast,phenomenal knowledge consists inqualitative experiences and phenomenal conceptsthat provide an internal, language-independentreference to the properties of objects and theneeds of the organism. Language andpropositional knowledge are exclusively humanattributes implemented in specific regions ofthe dominant hemisphere. This contrastssharply with the phylogenicallysensory areas that are common to animals andhumans, which implement qualitativeexperiences. Experiences are hard-wiredneurobiological processes that can neither betransmitted nor re-created through thesymbolism of propositions. Thus, I concludethat the fallacy in the explanatory gap and inthe knowledge argument is a fallacy ofequivocation that results from ignoringfundamental neurobiological differences betweenphenomenal and propositional knowledge
|Keywords||Brain Knowledge Neurobiology Phenomena Proposition Science|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
J. M. Musacchio (2005). Why Do Qualia and the Mind Seem Nonphysical? Synthese 147 (3):425-460.
Similar books and articles
Robert F. Bornstein (1999). Unconscious Motivation and Phenomenal Knowledge: Toward a Comprehensive Theory of Implicit Mental States. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):758-758.
Brie Gertler (1999). A Defense of the Knowledge Argument. Philosophical Studies 93 (3):317-336.
Terry Horgan & Uriah Kriegel (2007). Phenomenal Epistemology: What is Consciousness That We May Know It so Well? Philosophical Issues 17 (1):123-144.
Martina Fürst (2004). Qualia and Phenomenal Concepts as Basis of the Knowledge Argument. Acta Analytica 19 (32):143-152.
Dunja Jutronic (2004). The Knowledge Argument--Some Comments. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 4 (11):193-197.
Bénédicte Veillet (2015). The Cognitive Significance of Phenomenal Knowledge. Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2955-2974.
Paul Noordhof (2003). Something Like Ability. Australian Journal of Philosophy 81 (1):21-40.
Thomas McClelland (2014). Receptivity and Phenomenal Self‐Knowledge. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):293-302.
Dunja Jutronić (2004). The Knowledge Argument. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):193-197.
Pete Mandik (2010). Swamp Mary's Revenge: Deviant Phenomenal Knowledge and Physicalism. Philosophical Studies 148 (2):231 - 247.
Derek Ball (2009). There Are No Phenomenal Concepts. Mind 118 (472):935-962.
David J. Chalmers (2007). Phenomenal Concepts and the Explanatory Gap. In Torin Alter & Sven Walter (eds.), Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge: New Essays on Consciousness and Physicalism. Oxford University Press
Cheng-Hung Tsai (2011). Linguistic Know-How: The Limits of Intellectualism. Theoria 77 (1):71-86.
Gabriel Rabin (2011). Conceptual Mastery and the Knowledge Argument. Philosophical Studies 154 (1):125-147.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads90 ( #43,105 of 1,789,736 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #418,435 of 1,789,736 )
How can I increase my downloads?