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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History of Western Philosophy. European Christian philosophy Scholasticism Thomism Renaissance humanism. But then how is his an epiphenomenalist position?

Objections have been raised that have required the argument to be refined. Reasoning by analogy with humans lesioned by disease or battle, Huxley finds it plausible that the frogs are not conscious, or not exercising volition; yet when thrown into water, for example, they swim just as well as undamaged frogs.

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.

Epiphenomenal Qualia

But this fact cannot show that those actions are caused by our mental events rather than being caused by the physical causes of those mental events. The earliest occurrence of the term for referring to automatism that I have been able to locate is in William James’s The Principles of Psychologyfirst published in The distinction between common causation and realization plays a key role.

Or, to put the matter somewhat differently, if epiphenomenalism leaves mental event properties no worse off than the property of being a pump, then we can accept epiphenomenalism of mental event properties with equanimity.

Besides containing the analogy of the steam-whistle that contributes nothing to the locomotive’s work, this essay compares consciousness to the sound of the bell of a clock that has no role in keeping the time, and treats volition as a symbol in consciousness of the brain-state cause of an action.

He calls these “Martian colors. Jackson believed in the explanatory completeness of physiologythat all behaviour is caused by physical forces of some kind.


Does it convey knowledge of M? I There is a distinction between a neural events in sensory systems, which cause feelings, and b neural events in a reward system where an event is a member of a reward system if and only if it contributes to continuance, or repetition in similar circumstances, of any behavior that leads to that epiphenomennal.


Hans Muller – – Philosophia 37 1: So, either we cannot know our own mental events, or our knowledge of them cannot be what is causing the plainly physical event of our saying something about our mental events.

A more moderate position such as J. Arguments about epiphenomenalism quualia concern either type of mental event, and it should not be assumed that an argument given for one type can be rephrased without loss for the other. Descartes’ interactionist model proposed that nonphysical events could cause small changes in the shape of the pineal gland.

Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge.


For reasons parallel to Pauen’s, it seems we could not ever have evidence that would rule this possibility out. The Basic IssuesNew York: The experiment is intended to argue against physicalism —the view that the universe, including all that is mental, is entirely physical.

Give her a epiphenomneal description in the notation of neurophysiology of a colour vision state, and she will very likely be able to imagine what such a epiphenomenall would be like.

Tell me everything physical there is to tell about what is going on in eoiphenomenal living brain Alexander Staudacher – – Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 However, some epiphenomenla do not accept this as a rigorous refutation. Mackie ‘s error theory suggests that false beliefs should be stripped away from a mental concept without eliminating the concept itself, the legitimate core meaning being left intact.

Thus, if externalism is right, what S does cannot depend on the intentional content of S’s thoughts. Moreover, the denial of psychophysical laws epiphenomena that there is no law-like connection between any psychological type and the neural types that do the causal work. If such worlds 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 world.

Sober have developed an alternative line of argument that they hold to apply just as well to functional properties and properties that resist functional analysis.

Pains, afterimages, qualai tastes can serve as examples. But epiphenomenalism denies such a causal connection. In fact, on an epiphenomenalist view, all the arguments for epiphenomenalism and rebuttals to counterarguments we have reviewed might be given even if we were all zombies — i.


See Bailey for this objection and Robinson for discussion. Nemirow epiphenomdnal Lewis present the “ability hypothesis”, and Conee argues for the “acquaintance hypothesis”. Participants in that revolution, such as Jerry Fodorreject epiphenomenalism and insist upon the efficacy of the mind. The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding.

Either of these possibilities is compatible with all the physics we have, i. The foregoing way of responding to the self-stultification argument is further explained and defended in Robinson b, ; see also a. The Illusion of Conscious Will. Pumps can be realized in different ways — there are, e. Epi;henomenal article has no associated abstract.

Mary would therefore already know exactly what to expect of seeing red, before ever leaving the room. This view, however, both offends Occamist principles and fails to satisfy the leading anti-epiphenomenalist intuition, namely, that the mental makes a difference to the physical, i.

Thus, it is easily understood how certain kinds of neural events can be selected for. Jackson has us imagine this person Fred who is able to discriminate two different colors of perfectly ripe tomatoes, which he calls red 1 and red 2 1.

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.

Arguments in the Age of Materialism 3. Jackson argued that if both of these theses are true, then epiphenomenalism is true—the view that mental states are caused by physical states, but have no causal effects on the physical world. This subjective experience is often called a quale plural qualiaand it describes the private “raw feel” or the subjective ” what-it-is-like ” that is the inner accompaniment of many mental states.

Philosophy of mind series. As Kim was well aware, this attractive solution depends on a epipgenomenal point in the analogy between mental properties and the property of being a pump. Epiphenomenalists can be expected to deny the necessity of causal relations for individuation.