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The Case for Qualia$
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Edmond Wright

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262232661

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262232661.001.0001

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Why Frank Should Not Have Jilted Mary

Why Frank Should Not Have Jilted Mary

(p.223) 12 Why Frank Should Not Have Jilted Mary
The Case for Qualia

Howard Robinson

The MIT Press

This chapter investigates the reasons behind Frank Jackson’s abandonment of the knowledge argument, of which he was the most famous proponent. Jackson explains here the “illusion” of knowledge acquisition, with the key points being that experience represents states that are highly complexly relational and functional and internal, that such experience is purely representational, that experience does this in a “holistic” manner so that the complex seems like a simple or intrinsic property, and that, because there is apparently no such physical property, it seems to be a nonphysical one. This raises two points of contention. First is the adequacy of the purely representational account of the qualitative content of experience, and second, is the status of the claim that the unitary representation of a complex state of affairs presents itself as qualia-like.

Keywords:   knowledge argument, Frank Jackson, knowledge acquisition, representational account, qualitative content, experience

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