Not so epiphenomenal qualia or, how much of a mystery is the mind?

Fredrik Stjernberg

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Keywords: Qualia, Jackson, Explanatory gap, Physicalism, Causal theory of knowledge, Epiphenomenalism.

: Frank Jackson's knowledge argument against physicalism has caused an extensive debate. In this paper, I sketch and examine a new argument against Jackson's view, an argument which appears to retain more of physicalism than other replies to Jackson. this argument draws strength from a causal theory of knowledge, and hold that there is no knowledge of epiphenomenal qualia, hence that Jackson's main conclusions from the thought experiment are incorrect. There are still problems with this argument, however, so the question remains how much of the mental that can be accounted for in physicalist terms.

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Fredrik Stjernberg

Spinning Ideas, Electronic Essays
Dedicated to Peter Gärdenfors on His Fiftieth Birthday