An inconsistency in the knowledge argument

Erkenntnis 58 (2):261-266 (2003)
  Copy   BIBTEX


I argue that Frank Jackson's knowledge argument cannot succeed in showing that qualia are epiphenomenal. The reason for this is that there is, given the structure of the argument, an irreconcilable tension between his support for the claim that qualia are non-physical and his conclusion that they are epiphenomenal. The source of the tension is that his argument for the non-physical character of qualia is plausible only on the assumption that they have causal efficacy, while his argument for the epiphenomenal character of qualia is plausible only on the assumption that they are non-physical. Since these two arguments cannot be combined coherently, the most Jackson's argument can establish is that qualia are non-physical



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 83,878

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Can Mary's Qualia Be Epiphenomenal?Daniel Lim & Wang Hao - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (3):503-512.
More troubles for epiphenomenalism.Hans Muller - 2008 - Philosophia 37 (1):109-112.
Why qualia are not epiphenomenal.Hans Muller - 2008 - Ratio 21 (1):85–90.
A Defense of Materialism Against Attacks Based on Qualia.Jeffrey Charles Beall - 1998 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Jackson's apostasy.William S. Robinson - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 111 (3):277-293.
Re-acquaintance with qualia.John C. Bigelow & Robert Pargetter - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (3):353 – 378.
Epiphenomenal qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.


Added to PP

187 (#80,913)

6 months
3 (#244,541)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Neil Campbell
Wilfrid Laurier University

Citations of this work

Mad Qualia.Umut Baysan - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):467-485.
Acquaintance, Parsimony, and Epiphenomenalism.Brie Gertler - 2019 - In Sam Coleman (ed.), The Knowledge Argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 62-86.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Epiphenomenal qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Consciousness Explained.Daniel C. Dennett - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (4):905-910.
Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Physicalism and phenomenal qualities.Earl Conee - 1985 - Philosophical Quarterly 35 (140):296-302.

Add more references