Physicalism and the nature of phenomenal concepts

André Joffily Abath


In recent years, a number of authors have tried to respond to Frank Jackson’s so-called “Knowledge Argument” against physicalism by appealing to phenomenal concepts, that is, concepts under which fall the phenomenal aspect of our experiences, or, to put it in different terms, concepts under which fall the sensations attached to our experiences. However, there is no agreement in the literature regarding the nature of phenomenal concepts. For some, these concepts are recognitional in nature. Others take them as being demonstrative in nature. In this paper, I will argue that physicalists should not take phenomenal concepts as being either recognitional or demonstrative in nature, for if they do they will not be able to respond to Jackson’s Knowledge Argument.

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