Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (2-3):74-97 (2009)

Authors
Sam Coleman
University of Hertfordshire
Abstract
According to the knowledge argument, physicalism fails because when physically omniscient Mary first sees red, her gain in phenomenal knowledge involves a gain in factual knowledge. Thus not all facts are physical facts. According to the ability hypothesis, the knowledge argument fails because Mary only acquires abilities to imagine, remember and recognise redness, and not new factual knowledge. I argue that reducing Mary’s new knowledge to abilities does not affect the issue of whether she also learns factually: I show that gaining specific new phenomenal knowledge is required for acquiring abilities of the relevant kind. Phenomenal knowledge being basic to abilities, and not vice versa, it is left an open question whether someone who acquires such abilities also learns something factual. The answer depends on whether the new phenomenal knowledge involved is factual. But this is the same question we wanted to settle when first considering the knowledge argument. The ability hypothesis, therefore, has offered us no dialectical progress with the knowledge argument, and is best forgotten.
Keywords consciousness  knowledge argument  ability hypothesis  Lewis  Nemirow  Mary  Jackson
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Extending Introspection.Lukas Schwengerer - 2021 - In Robert William Clowes, Klaus Gärtner & Inês Hipólito (eds.), The Mind-Technology Problem - Investigating Minds, Selves and 21st Century Artifacts. Springer. pp. 231-251.
Skills – Do We Really Know What Kind of Knowledge They Are?Jens Erling Birch - 2016 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 10 (3):237-250.
The Ability Hypothesis: An Empirically Based Defense.Mahdi Zakeri & Majid Ghasemi - 2016 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):23-38.

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