What RoboDennett Still Doesn't Know
Topics:Theory of Consciousness
Keywords:Mary; Knowledge Argument; Qualia; Dennett; Jackson
Deposited by:Mr Michael J S Beaton
Date of Issue:2005
Journal/Publication Title:Journal of Consciousness Studies
Abstract:Recently, Dennett has returned to the fray concerning Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument. On Dennett’s account, physicalism requires that an agent who knows as much as Jackson’s Mary could work out what it is like to see in colour, using just those mental abilities which she is granted ex hypothesi by the argument. I review relevant work on the knowledge argument. I briefly present a conceptualist account of conscious experience. Then I build on this to claim that Dennett’s response to Jackson is flawed by Dennett’s own lights: that an agent who possesses no more than the abilities and knowledge required of Mary by the premises of the knowledge argument still could not work out what it is like to see in colour, even on a strictly physicalist, strictly heterophenomenological account.