About this topic
Summary The knowledge argument against physicalism centers on the claim that complete physical knowledge does not enable knowledge of consciousness.  In Frank Jackson's formulation, Mary is brought up in a black-and-white room and learns the complete neuroscience of color processing in humans, but she still does not know what it is like to see red: she learns a new fact about color experience when she leaves her room and sees red for the first time.  Jackson argues that Mary knows all the physical facts but not all the facts about color experience, so some facts about color experience are not physical facts.  Physicalists have replied in many different ways.  Some argue that Mary gains an ability without learning a new fact.  Others argue that she gains acquaintance with a property without learning a new facts.  Others argue that she learns a fact she already knew under a new mode of presentation.
Key works Jackson's original papers on the knowledge argument are Jackson 1982 and Jackson 1986 (he changes his mind in 2003).  Nemirow 1990 and Lewis 1990 give the ability reply: on leaving the black-and-white room, Mary gains an ability without learning a new fact.  Loar 1990 gives the old-fact reply: Mary learns a fact she already knew under a new mode of presentation.  Conee 1985 gives the acquaintance reply: Mary gains acquaintance with a property without learning new facts.  Dennett 2006 argues that Mary could know about color experience from inside her room.  Two excellent collections of papers on the topic are Ludlow et al 2004 and Alter & Walter 2006.
Introductions Encyclopedia articles include Nida-Rumelin 2002, Alter 2005, and Gertler 2005Stoljar & Nagasawa 2003 is a thorough introduction including a historical discussion.
Related categories

352 found
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  1. added 2018-12-17
    Semantic Gaps and Protosemantics.Benj Hellie - forthcoming - In Acacio de Barros & Carlos Montemayor (eds.), Mind and Quanta. Berlin: Springer.
    Semantic gaps between physical and mental discourse include the 'explanatory', 'epistemic' (Black-and-White Mary), and 'suppositional' (zombies) gaps; protosemantics is concerned with what is fundamental to meaning. Our tradition presupposes a truth-based protosemantics, with disastrous consequences for interpreting the semantic gaps: nonphysicalism, epiphenomenalism, separatism. Fortunately, an endorsement-based protosemantics, recentering meaning from the world to the mind, is technically viable, intuitively more plausible, and empirically more adequate. But, of present significance, it makes room for interpreting mental discourse as expressing simulations: this blocks (...)
  2. added 2018-12-06
    Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being.Mark Pharoah - forthcoming - Biosemiotics:1-20.
    I argue that the physiological, phenomenal and conceptual constitute a trichotomous hierarchy of emergent categories. I claim that each category employs a distinctive type of interactive mechanism that facilitates a meaningful kind of environmental discourse. I advocate, therefore, that each have a causal relation with the environment but that their specific class of mechanism qualifies distinctively the meaningfulness of that interaction and subsequent responses. Consequently, I argue that the causal chain of physical interaction feeds distinctive value-laden constructions that are ontologically (...)
  3. added 2018-12-03
    "Арґумент зомбі" проти матеріалізму: основи та перспективи подальшого дослідження.Andrii Leonov - 2017 - Philosophical Thought 3 (3):57-77.
    The paper deals with the main argument against the doctrine of Materialism and the heart of the mind-body problem — the Zombie argument. The main proponent of the idea of philosophical zombies is the Australian philosopher David Chalmers, whose main opus 'The Conscious Mind' is wholly based on the idea of conceivability and logical possibility of zombies. The author aims to show that for the adequate analysis of Chalmers' zombie argument, the frame of the Analytic philosophy alone is not sufficient, (...)
  4. added 2018-11-29
    A Practical Guide to Intellectualism.Yuri Cath - 2008 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    In this thesis I examine the view—known as intellectualism—that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that, or propositional knowledge. I examine issues concerning both the status of this view of knowledge-how and the philosophical implications if it is true. The ability hypothesis is an important position in the philosophy of mind that appeals to Gilbert Ryle’s famous idea that there is a fundamental distinction between knowledge-how and knowledge-that. This position appears to be inconsistent with the truth of intellectualism. However, I demonstrate (...)
  5. added 2018-10-28
    What Gary Couldn't Imagine.Tufan Kiymaz - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Research.
    I propose an anti-physicalist argument, namely, the imagination argument, and defend it against possible objections. My argument is inspired by Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument, or rather its misinterpretation by Daniel Dennett and Paul Churchland. They interpret the knowledge argument to be about the ability to imagine an unexperienced phenomenal state, which Jackson explicitly denies. The imagination argument, in its rudimentary form, can be briefly put as the following. Let Q be a visual phenomenal quality that is imaginable based on one’s (...)
  6. added 2018-08-20
    Subjective Facts.Tim Crane - 2003 - In Hallvard Lillehammer & Gonzalo Rodriguez Pereyra (eds.), Real Metaphysics. London: Routledge. pp. 68-83.
    An important theme running through D.H. Mellor’s work is his realism, or as I shall call it, his objectivism: the idea that reality as such is how it is, regardless of the way we represent it, and that philosophical error often arises from confusing aspects of our subjective representation of the world with aspects of the world itself. Thus central to Mellor’s work on time has been the claim that the temporal A-series (previously called ‘tense’) is unreal while the B-series (...)
  7. added 2018-06-05
    Dualism: How Epistemic Issues Drive Debates About the Ontology of Consciousness.Brie Gertler - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    A primary goal of this chapter is to highlight neglected epistemic parallels between dualism and physicalism. Both dualist and physicalist arguments employ a combination of empirical data and armchair reflection; both rely on considerations stemming from how we conceptualize certain phenomena; and both aim to establish views that are compatible with scientific results but go well beyond the deliverances of empirical science. -/- I begin the chapter by fleshing out the distinctive commitments of dualism, in a way that illuminates the (...)
  8. added 2018-03-08
    Imagining, Recognizing and Discriminating: Reconsidering the Ability Hypothesis.Bence Nanay - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):699-717.
    According to the Ability Hypothesis, knowing what it is like to have experience E is just having the ability to imagine or recognize or remember having experience E. I examine various versions of the Ability Hypothesis and point out that they all face serious objections. Then I propose a new version that is not vulnerable to these objections: knowing what it is like to experience E is having the ability todiscriminate imagining or having experience E from imagining or having any (...)
  9. added 2018-02-14
    The Ability Hypothesis: An Empirically Based Defense.Mahdi Zakeri & Majid Ghasemi - 2016 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):23-38.
    We defend Laurence Nemirow’s and David Lewis’s Ability Hypothesis against Paul Raymont’s criticisms in defense of Jackson’s Knowledge Argument. According to the Ability Hypothesis, what Mary lacked when she was in her black-and-white room was a set of abilities; she did not know how to recognize or imagine certain types of experience. Her subsequent discovery of what it is like to experience color amounts to no more than her acquiring these abilities. Appealing to the Molyneux test, Raymont has argued that (...)
  10. added 2017-09-13
    Mind, Modality, and Meaning: Toward a Rationalist Physicalism.Gabriel Oak Rabin - 2013 - Dissertation, University of California Los Angeles
    This dissertation contains four independent essays addressing a cluster of related topics in the philosophy of mind. Chapter 1: “Fundamentality Physicalism” argues that physicalism can usefully be conceived of as a thesis about fundamentality. The chapter explores a variety of other potential formulations of physicalism (particularly modal formulations), contrasts fundamentality physicalism with these theses, and offers reasons to prefer fundamentality physicalism over these rivals. Chapter 2:“Modal Rationalism and the Demonstrative Reply to the Master Argument Against Physicalism” introduces the Master Argument (...)
  11. added 2017-08-23
    E-PHYSICALISM - A PHYSICALIST THEORY OF PHENOMENAL CONSCIOUSNESS.Reinaldo Bernal - 2012/2013 - Frankfurt, Germany: Ontos/De Gruyter.
    This work advances a theory in the metaphysics of phenomenal consciousness, which the author labels “e-physicalism”. Firstly, he endorses a realist stance towards consciousness and physicalist metaphysics. Secondly, he criticises Strong AI and functionalist views, and claims that consciousness has an internal character. Thirdly, he discusses HOT theories, the unity of consciousness, and holds that the “explanatory gap” is not ontological but epistemological. Fourthly, he argues that consciousness is not a supervenient but an emergent property, not reducible and endowed with (...)
  12. added 2017-07-25
    Grounding, Essence, and the Knowledge Argument.Philip Goff - forthcoming - In Sam Coleman (ed.), The Knowledge Argument: Then and Now. Cambridge University Press.
    Few these days dispute that the knowledge argument demonstrates an epistemic gap between the physical facts and the facts about experience. It is much more contentious whether that epistemic gap can be used to demonstrate a metaphysical gap of a kind that is inconsistent with physicalism. In this paper I will explore two attempts to block the inference from an epistemic gap to a metaphysical gap – the first from the phenomenal concept strategy, the second from Russellian monism – and (...)
  13. added 2017-03-02
    There’s Something About Mary. [REVIEW]Derek Ball - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 64:119-121.
  14. added 2017-02-16
    Extent of Physical Knowledge, The.Thomas O'keefe - 1936 - Modern Schoolman 14:58.
  15. added 2017-02-15
    “Lepers Outside The Gate”: Excavations At The Cemetery Of The Hospital Of St James And St Mary Magdalene, Chichester, 1986–87 And 1993. [REVIEW]Peregrine Horden - 2011 - Speculum 86 (1):239-240.
  16. added 2017-02-15
    Lepers Outside the Gate: Excavations at the Cemetery of the Hospital of St. James and St. Mary Magdalene, Chichester, 1986-87 and 1993. [REVIEW]Philippe Charlier - 2010 - The Medieval Review 3.
  17. added 2017-02-15
    Jackson's Classical Theory of Meaning.John Bigelow & Laura Schroeter - unknown
  18. added 2017-02-15
    The Public Worth of Mary Somerville.Claire Brock - 2006 - British Journal for the History of Science 39 (2):255-272.
    This article assesses the reputation of Mary Somerville in the 1830s and suggests that critical confusion over her status in the changing world of early nineteenth-century science is not new. Drawing on Somerville’s own writings, contemporary newspaper and periodical reviews, political debates and unpublished manuscripts, Somerville's ‘uniqueness’ as a public figure is examined through the eyes of both the nascent scientific community of the time as well as the wider audience for her work. Somerville's status as a popularizer and an (...)
  19. added 2017-02-15
    Jackson's Chameleons, Chamaeleo Jacksonii, Indoor Care, Feeding, and Breeding.S. Donoghue - 1996 - Vivarium 8:6-13.
  20. added 2017-02-15
    Catalogue of the Jackson Collection of Manuscript Fragments in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle, with a Memoir of Canon J. E. Jackson and a List of His Works. [REVIEW]Alison Stones - 1983 - Speculum 58 (3):1088-1089.
  21. added 2017-02-14
    Mary Ann Cain.George Kalamaras - forthcoming - Intertexts: Reading Pedagogy in College Writing Classrooms.
  22. added 2017-02-14
    Mary Ann Cain..Nancy Christiansen - forthcoming - Intertexts: Reading Pedagogy in College Writing Classrooms.
  23. added 2017-02-14
    Science on the Fairgrounds: From Black to White Magic.Raichvarg Daniel - 2007 - Science & Education 16 (6):585.
  24. added 2017-02-14
    14 Jackson on Physical Information and Qualia.Terence Morgan - 2004 - In Yujin Nagasawa, Peter Ludlow & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), There's Something About Mary. MIT Press. pp. 301.
  25. added 2017-02-14
    The Knowledge Argument Can Be Introduced Through a Variety of Differ-Ent Illustrations. Here Are Three.(I) Consider a Complete Physical Theory of the Light Spectrum, Including the Effects Different Wavelengths of Light Have on the Neural Systems of Humans. There Are Also the Phenomenal Properties We Experience When We. [REVIEW]John Bigelow & Robert Pargetter - 2004 - In Yujin Nagasawa, Peter Ludlow & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), There's Something About Mary. MIT Press. pp. 179.
  26. added 2017-02-14
    10 Phenomenal Knowledge.Earl Conee - 2004 - In Yujin Nagasawa, Peter Ludlow & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), There's Something About Mary. MIT Press. pp. 197.
  27. added 2017-02-14
    Recontextualizing Knowledge: An Epistemological Ambiguity.J. P. Bagchi - 2002 - Journal of Human Values 8 (2):157-163.
    The encounter of the cognitive apparatus with the phenomenal world had led to the emergence of independent thought processes either based on scientific method of enguiry or on meditative experiences. In the course of time these have developed into a systematized body of knowledge. They purport to provide peace and happiness, but when seduced by power a distorted value structure has been legitimized. The plethora of evidences suggest the 'self' has been incapacitated for long. The scientific experiences have been given (...)
  28. added 2017-02-14
    Meeting Sheryle at the Gym 'Michael JB Jackson'.Mens Sana & Sano In Corpore - 2000 - Paideusis: Journal of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society 13:61.
  29. added 2017-02-14
    Mary MacKillop and Australian Spiritual Identity.Daniel Lyne - 1995 - The Australasian Catholic Record 72 (1):44.
  30. added 2017-02-14
    Mother Mary MacKillop and Australian Spirituality.Eugene James Cuskelly - 1995 - The Australasian Catholic Record 72 (1):3.
  31. added 2017-02-13
    With Jackson.Graham Priest - 2009 - In Ian Ravenscroft (ed.), Minds, Ethics, and Conditionals: Themes From the Philosophy of Frank Jackson. Oxford University Press. pp. 311.
  32. added 2017-02-13
    Perception of Danger – Black and White?Mark Wexler - 2001 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 5 (7):286.
  33. added 2017-02-13
    Mathematical Ability, Spatial Ability, and Remedial Training.Barbara Sanders - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (2):208.
  34. added 2017-02-13
    The Ability of Young Children to Rank Themselves for Academic Ability.A. C. Crocker & R. G. Cheeseman - 1988 - Educational Studies 14 (1):105-110.
  35. added 2017-02-13
    The Practical Significance of Black–White Differences in Intelligence.Linda S. Gottfredson - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (3):510.
  36. added 2017-02-12
    God and Phenomenal Consciousness: A Novel Approach to Knowledge Arguments. By Yujin Nagasawa. Pp. Xiii, 162, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2008, $85.00. [REVIEW]Bradford McCall - 2014 - Heythrop Journal 55 (1):144-145.
  37. added 2017-02-12
    Frank Jackson, Language, Names, and Information. Cambridge (MA), Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.Lorenz Demey - 2011 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 73 (3):594-596.
  38. added 2017-02-12
    Bain's Reservations About Jackson's and Ferrier's Theory of Brain Localizations.Daniel Becquemont - 2007 - Revue d'Histoire des Sciences 60 (2):303-326.
  39. added 2017-02-12
    Re-Reading: Frank Jackson, 'Grue', Journal of Philosophy 5 (1975).Samir Okasha - 2007 - Philosophical Papers 36 (3).
  40. added 2017-02-12
    Book Review: Dangerous Memories: A Mosaic of Mary in Scripture. [REVIEW]Janyce C. Jorgensen - 2006 - Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology 60 (2):231-232.
  41. added 2017-02-12
    A Brief Look at Peter Jackson's Adapration Of.Devin Brown - 2002 - The Chesterton Review 28 (3):438-439.
  42. added 2017-02-11
    The Black–White Differences Are Real: Where Do We Go From Here?Keith E. Stanovich - 1985 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (2):242-243.
  43. added 2017-02-11
    Do We Know Enough About G to Be Able to Speak of Black–White Differences?Ronald C. Johnson & Craig T. Nagoshi - 1985 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (2):232-233.
  44. added 2017-02-11
    The Black–White Factor is G.Robert A. Gordon - 1985 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (2):229-231.
  45. added 2017-02-11
    Interpretation of Black–White Differences in G.Philip E. Vernon - 1985 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (2):244-245.
  46. added 2017-02-09
    Review: Jackson's Empirical Assumptions. [REVIEW]Stephen Stich & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):637 - 643.
  47. added 2017-02-09
    William Jackson Kilgore 1917-1993.William Cooper & Robert Baird - 1994 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 67 (4):141 -.
  48. added 2017-02-09
    The Age of Jackson.Brother Alexander Joseph - 1946 - Thought: Fordham University Quarterly 21 (2):314-314.
  49. added 2017-02-09
    The Testament of Mary.Louis H. Gray - 1942 - Thought: Fordham University Quarterly 17 (4):757-758.
  50. added 2017-02-09
    The Life of Chevalier Jackson.T. J. Dimitry - 1939 - Thought: Fordham University Quarterly 14 (4):652-652.
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