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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He defended the idea of automatic behavioror the performance of actions without conscious thought. It seems, however, that the causal determinants of S’s behavior can depend only on events occurring inside S’s body.

For him the sensation of qualia and the rejection of Physicalism is an intuition. Jackson doesn’t see how Nagel’s argument tells against physicalism, since physicalism qulaia no way entails that we should be able to imagine what it’s like to be a bat, nor should it b.

Epiphenomenalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Ergo there is more to have than that, and Physicalism is false. Frank Jackson Australian National University. In Jackson’s argument, a brilliant scientist, Mary, has learned all the physical information there is about color vision. If this is correct, then at least in some cases our intuitive judgments that our conscious intentions are causing our movements must be illusory.

Either of these possibilities is compatible with all the physics we have, i. It seems just obvious that she will learn something about the world and our visual experience of it. Consider the world of pumps. In Consciousness ExplainedDaniel Dennett distinguishes between a purely metaphysical sense of epiphenomenalism, in which the epiphenomenon has no causal impact at all, and Huxley’s “steam whistle” epiphenomenalism, in which effects exist but are not functionally relevant.


The modern discussion of epiphenomenalism, however, traces back to a 19th century context, in which a dualistic view of mental events was assumed to be correct.

Pumps can be realized in different epiphenomenak — there are, e. To avoid that, a nonphysical, efficacious self would not be sufficient: But then it is inescapable that her previous knowledge was incomplete. If such epipheenomenal are possible, we might actually be in such a world, and so the epiphenomenalist can be asked to provide evidence that we are not in such a eoiphenomenal. Some philosophers have, however, noted that if Libet’s own claims are accepted, then some of our actions are initiated prior to our conscious intention to perform them.

Dennett argues that functional knowledge is identical to the experience, with no ineffable ‘qualia’ left over. Most authors epiphenkmenal discuss the knowledge argument cite the case epiphebomenal Mary, but Frank Jackson used a further example in his seminal article: This argument is surely the briefest of those against epiphenomenalism, but it may have been more persuasive than any other. HodgsonW. Every few weeks the soldier would enter a trance-like state, smoking, dressing epihpenomenal, and aiming his cane like a rifle all while being insensitive to pins, electric epiphenimenal, odorous substances, vinegar, noise, and certain light conditions.

It thus appears that we must either 1 deny that fundamental objects of physics have any epphenomenal properties, or 2 deny that Lewis’s argument for the connection of phenomenal 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 our view of the basic structure of physical reality.

A quale or conscious experience would not belong to the category of objects of reference on this account, but rather to the category of ways of doing things. The mind might simply be a byproduct of other properties such as brain size or pathway activation synchronicity, which are adaptive.


Suppose further that this belief is involved in an inference, and that its possessor arrives at a new belief, i. Gertler uses this disparity to oppose Conee’s account: Archived from the original on 23 September However, different causes may produce the same effect. In Defence of Qualia-Epiphenomenalism.

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Critics of epiphenomenalism can of course point out that there is a property that quaia, but not epiphenomenalism, assigns to P3 — namely, the property of being indirectly caused by M. The evolution of human sexuality. Fredrik Stjernberg – – Spinning Ideas. Science Logic and Mathematics. Jackson criticizes three arguments that are typically given for the causal efficacy of qualia C.

He argues that the personal mind is not the only source of knowledge about the existence of mind in the world. Some argue that this supports epiphenomenalism, since it shows that the feeling of making a decision to act is actually an epiphenomenon; the action happens before the decision, so the decision did not cause the action to occur.

Knowledge argument

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Huxley and his contemporaries seem to have been impressed by preparations in which frogs had had various portions of their brains removed.

Fred consistently sorts the tomatoes the same way a. It should be noted that most recent writers take a somewhat dogmatic position against epiphenomenalism.