There are no phenomenal concepts

Mind 118 (472):935-962 (2009)
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Abstract

It has long been widely agreed that some concepts can be possessed only by those who have undergone a certain type of phenomenal experience. Orthodoxy among contemporary philosophers of mind has it that these phenomenal concepts provide the key to understanding many disputes between physicalists and their opponents, and in particular offer an explanation of Mary’s predicament in the situation exploited by Frank Jackson's knowledge argument. I reject the orthodox view; I deny that there are phenomenal concepts. My arguments exploit the sort of considerations that are typically used to motivate externalism about mental content. Although physicalists often appeal to phenomenal concepts to defend their view against the knowledge argument, I argue that this is a mistake. The knowledge argument depends on phenomenal concepts; if there are no phenomenal concepts, then the knowledge argument fails

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Derek Ball
University of St. Andrews

Citations of this work

Objective Phenomenology.Andrew Lee - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (5).
Practical Modes of Presentation.Ephraim Glick - 2015 - Noûs 49 (3):538-559.
Knowing What It's Like.Andrew Y. Lee - 2023 - Philosophical Perspectives 37 (1):187-209.
Qualia: The Knowledge Argument.Martine Nida-Rumelin - 2002 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong.Jerry A. Fodor - 1998 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Epiphenomenal qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Individualism and the mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.

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