I can’t help but leaving my reading of Frank Jackson’s Epiphenomenal Qualia with a sense of wonder and a grinning awe. This, independent of. Epiphenomenalism is a position on the mind–body problem which holds that physical and .. () “Epiphenomenal Qualia”, The Philosophical Quarterly, 32 , pp. – Online text; James, William. () The Principles of Psychology, . The knowledge argument is a philosophical thought experiment proposed by Frank Jackson in his article “Epiphenomenal Qualia” () and extended in ” What.

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Jackson insists that when we release her from this black-and-white environment and expose her to colors for the first time, there is something new that she will learn 3. The idea that even if the animal were conscious nothing would be added to the production of behavior, even in animals of the human type, was first voiced by La Mettrieand then by Cabanisand was further explicated by Hodgson [3] and Huxley But if intrinsicality epipenomenal epiphenomenality, as D.

Fredrik Stjernberg – – Spinning Ideas. There epipenomenal, however, a property that P3 does have that is intuitively strongly connected to its conveying knowledge of M — namely, that it would not be occurring unless M had recently occurred.

Reprinted in Lycan, W. The central motivation epiphenmoenal epiphenomenalism lies in the premise that anything that can causally contribute to a physical event must itself be a physical event. One might have thought that if the mental and the physical are identical, there epiphehomenal be no room for epiphenomenalistic questions to arise. But a property can be selected for only if it has an effect upon organisms’ behavior.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The debate that emerged following its publication became the subject of an edited volume— There’s Something About Mary —which includes replies from such philosophers as Daniel DennettDavid Lewisand Paul Churchland. To introduce a convenient example, it is plausible that each person’s occurrent belief that the Mona Lisa is in the Louvre is identical with some physical event in that person’s wpiphenomenal but there is no one physical brain-event type such that all who hold that belief have that kind of brain event.

In short, despite the identity of mental and physical events, the mental character of Jones’s brain events seems to have nothing to do with where Jones goes. This page was last edited on 18 Decemberat If there is always a sufficient physical epiphenomenxl for whatever a mental event is supposed to produce, then one could never be in a position where one needs to suppose there is anything non-physical at work, and thus there could never be any reason to introduce mental causes into one’s account of neural events or behavior.

Thus, if not occurring unless M has recently occurred is the property that is responsible for P3’s conveying quwlia of M, epiphenomenalists have as much right as anyone to claim that P3 conveys knowledge of M, and they are not debarred from knowing what they claim to know. Some early twentieth century dictionaries list only this meaning of the term; by mid-twentieth century, the focal philosophical meaning is standardly given.


We believe we’ve learned the answer from a colorblind synesthete subject. Thus, if it is held that pains have no physical effects, then one must say either i pains do not cause beliefs that one is in pain, or ii beliefs that one is in pain are epiphenomenal.

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Epiphenomenalism is the view that mental events are caused by physical events in the brain, but have no effects upon any physical events. There could be some underlying third cause of both. Although he finds this a perfectly good argument, he realizes that it will not persuade everyone.

It thus appears that we must either 1 deny that fundamental objects of physics have any intrinsic properties, or 2 deny that Lewis’s argument for the connection of epiphennomenal information with epiphenomenalism is sound, or 3 deny that Lewis’s argument can be paralleled in the suggested way for the case of intrinsic physical properties, or 4 admit an epiphenomenalism of intrinsic properties into qialia view of the basic structure of physical reality.

Positions Aesthetics Formalism Institutionalism Aesthetic response. Because this difficulty has not been removed in the case of qualia, the success or failure of the previously discussed Quzlia Arguments remains relevant to contemporary thinking about epiphenomenalism.

Frank Jackson, Epiphenomenal qualia – PhilPapers

Since epiphenomenalists deny the identity of qualia and physical properties, such laws are not only contingent, but independent of physical laws. Megill has raised a problem for epiphenomenalism based on the assumption that properties must be individuated by their causal relations. Dennett argues that functional knowledge is identical to the experience, with no ineffable ‘qualia’ left over. Ramachandran and Hubbard’s contribution is in terms of exploring “the neural basis of qualia” by “using pre-existing, stable differences in the conscious experiences of people who experience synaesthesia compared with those who do not” but, they note that “this still doesn’t explain why these particular events are qualia laden and others are not Chalmers’ ‘hard problem’ but at least it narrows the scope of the problem” p.

Indeed, if physicalism were true, there would be no need to extrapolate from our experience or imagine how Fred experiences colors, because we’d already know q. However, Jackson objects that Churchland’s formulation is not his intended argument. Since the Mary’s room thought experiment seems to create this contradiction, there must be something wrong with it.

With this, Martha has the ability to imagine cherry red if she so chooses, but as long as she does not exercise this ability, to imagine cherry red, she does not know what it is like to see cherry red.



Suppose further that this belief is involved in an inference, and that its possessor arrives at a new belief, i. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Philosophical Quarterly 32 April: Jackson suggests that Mary is simply discovering a new way for her brain to represent qualities that exist in the world.

Because there can be many kinds of pumps, we cannot identify being a pump with any of the configurations that realize pumps. InKeith Campbell proposed his “new epiphenomenalism”, which states that the body produces a spiritual mind that does not act on the body. To show that ability is not necessary, Conee cites the example of someone who is able to see colors when she is looking at them, but who lacks the capacity to imagine colors when she is not. Among several points, perhaps the strongest is a comparison between Pauen’s challenge and the challenge to prove I am not a brain in a vat.

The alignment of feelings caused by useful stimuli and pleasure and, by parallel reasoning, alignment of feelings caused by harmful stimuli and displeasure would then follow from alignment of neural events of kinds a and b.

Knowledge argument

Epiphenomenalists may, however, reply that whatever sense of loss their view may occasion is common to any view that accepts dependence of our mental lives on the functioning of our brains. A large body of neurophysiological data seems to support epiphenomenalism.

In extreme cases, however — for example in a case of touching epiphwnomenal hot stove — it can be observed that the affected part is withdrawn before the pain is felt. He argues that the knowledge Mary actually acquires post-release is acquaintance knowledge. Epiphenomenalists can respond to James’ argument by offering support for the following two views.

First, it can never be obvious what causes what.

It appears that there are two possibilities, a I1 is related by a set of laws, [L1], to [S]; or b I2 is related by a different set of laws, [L2], to [S]. Huxley was not alone among 19th century figures who gave vigorous epiphenomenl clear expositions of an epiphenomenalistic view. However, Argonov suggests that experiments could refute epiphenomenalism. A History and Defense of AnimismLondon: Price edited this work, and wrote an introduction and notes for it. It is an old argument, however, and clear statements of it were offered by James and by Romanes in see Romanes, Essays by Thomas H.

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