, Volume 155, Issue 3, pp 437-443

On the self-locating response to the knowledge argument

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1. Boiled down to essentials, the knowledge argument against materialism (KA) is this:

Knowledge Argument (simple version):

  • K1. It is possible for someone to know all the physical facts and not know some phenomenal facts (e.g. the fact one knows when one knows what it is like to see green.)

  • KC. Materialism is false

    In this argument, the premise is supported by thought experiments with which I will presume familiarity—Jackson’s Mary is the most famous (see Jackson 1982)—and the conclusion seems to follow if materialism is the thesis that every fact is a physical fact.

    This is the way Stalnaker interprets materialism. I doubt materialism is quite this thesis but this complication does not matter in what follows. (A more complicated version of materialism would require a more complicated version of KA; that is why the version of KA discussed here is a simple one.).

    An argument that is analogous to KA is this:

    Analogous Argument:

  • A1. It is possible for someone to know all the physical facts and n