De Se Puzzles, the Knowledge Argument, and the Formation of Internal Knowledge

Analysis and Metaphysics 11:106-132 (2012)
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ABSTRACT. Thought experiments about de se attitudes and Jackson’s original Knowledge Argument are compared with each other and discussed from the perspective of a computational theory of mind. It is argued that internal knowledge, i.e. knowledge formed on the basis of signals that encode aspects of their own processing rather than being intentionally directed towards external objects, suffices for explaining the seminal puzzles without resorting to acquaintance or phenomenal character as primitive notions. Since computationalism is ontologically neutral, the account also explains why neither Lewis’s two gods nor Mary’s surprise in the Knowledge Argument violate physicalism.

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Erich Rast
New University of Lisbon


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