Mary's Powers of Imagination

In Sam Coleman (ed.), The Knowledge Argument (forthcoming)

Authors
Amy Kind
Claremont McKenna College
Abstract
One common response to the knowledge argument is the ability hypothesis. Proponents of the ability hypothesis accept that Mary learns what seeing red is like when she exits her black-and-white room, but they deny that the kind of knowledge she gains is propositional in nature. Rather, she acquires a cluster of abilities that she previously lacked, in particular, the abilities to recognize, remember, and imagine the color red. For proponents of the ability hypothesis, knowing what an experience is like simply consists in the possession of these abilities. Criticisms of the ability hypothesis tend to focus on this last claim. Such critics tend to accept that Mary gains these abilities when she leaves the room, but they deny that such abilities constitute knowledge of what an experience is like. To my mind, however, this critical strategy grants too much. Focusing specifically on imaginative ability, I argue that Mary does not gain this ability when she leaves the room for she already had the ability to imagine red while she was inside it. Moreover, despite what some have thought, the ability hypothesis cannot be easily rescued by recasting it in terms of a more restrictive imaginative ability. My purpose here is not to take sides in the debate about physicalism, i.e., my criticism of the ability hypothesis is not offered in an attempt to defend the anti-physicalist conclusion of the knowledge argument. Rather, my purpose is to redeem the imagination from the misleading picture of it that discussion of the knowledge argument has fostered.
Keywords knowledge argument  imagination  ability hypothesis
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Why the Ability Hypothesis is Best Forgotten.Sam Coleman - 2009 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (2-3):74-97.
The Ability Hypothesis: An Empirically Based Defense.Mahdi Zakeri & Majid Ghasemi - 2016 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):23-38.
Mary and the Two Gods: Trying Out an Ability Hypothesis.Hongwoo Kwon - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (2):191-217.
Imagining, Recognizing and Discriminating: Reconsidering the Ability Hypothesis.Bence Nanay - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):699-717.
Knowing What It is Like and Knowing How.Luca Malatesti - 2004 - In Alberto Peruzzi (ed.), Mind and Causality. John Benjamins. pp. 55--119.
The Know-How Response to Jackson’s Knowledge Argument.Paul Raymont - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Research 24 (January):113-26.
Something Like Ability.Paul Noordhof - 2003 - Australian Journal of Philosophy 81 (1):21-40.
What Gary Couldn’T Imagine in Advance.Tufan Kiymaz - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Research.
A Practical Guide to Intellectualism.Yuri Cath - 2008 - Dissertation, Australian National University
Something Like Ability.P. Noordhof - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (1):21-40.
The Knowledge Argument and the Refutation of Physicalism.M. Kuna - 2004 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 11 (2):128-142.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-05-29

Total views
84 ( #96,977 of 2,265,147 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
84 ( #6,997 of 2,265,147 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature