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Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal KnowledgeNew Essays on Consciousness and Physicalism$
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Torin Alter and Sven Walter

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195171655

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171655.001.0001

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 What RoboMary Knows

 What RoboMary Knows

(p.15) one What RoboMary Knows
Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge

Daniel Dennett (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter further develops a line of argument Daniel Dennett presented in his 1991 book, Consciousness Explained, where he argued that we should reject the intuition that Mary gains knowledge when she leaves the room. In his view, this intuition derives from a failure to appreciate the implications of knowing all the physical facts. Dennet gives a more detailed account of his case. Specifically, he (1) criticizes attempts to defend the intuition; (2) devises variations on the Mary case to illustrate how a deduction from physical information of what it's like to see in color might actually proceed; and (3) defends his arguments against objections. He affirmatively answers the question: could a proper understanding of phenomenal concepts/knowledge show that there is or is not an epistemic gap? He argues that a proper understanding of phenomenal concepts and phenomenal knowledge helps to show that there is no epistemic gap.

Keywords:   intuition, Mary, deduction, phenomenal concepts, phenomenal knowledge, epistemic gap

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