Oslo Mind Group Seminar: Andrew Lee, Knowing What It’s Like

We will be discussing a draft of ‘Knowing What It’s Like’ by Andrew Lee.

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This paper develops a degree-theoretic account of knowledge of what it’s like to have an experience. I argue

  1. that knowledge of phenomenal character varies along a spectrum from the more exact to the more approximate, and
  2. that phenomenal concepts vary along a spectrum in how precisely they characterize what it’s like to undergo their target experiences. I motivate this degreed picture by appeal to limits in epistemic abilities such as recognition, imagination, and inference.

I argue that approximate knowledge of phenomenal character cannot be explained merely by appeal to determinable or vague phenomenal concepts. I discuss how phenomenal concepts that yield more exact knowledge of what it’s like to undergo their target experience are those that eliminate more “phenomenal possibilities”. And I explain how the resulting view challenges some common assumptions about the acquisition conditions, requirements for mastery, and referential mechanisms of phenomenal concepts.

How to attend

This is a read-ahead seminar and will take place via Zoom. All are welcome to attend (Zoom login required).

The meeting link, along with a copy of the paper to be discussed, will be made available in advance via the Oslo Mind Group Team, which is open to all University of Oslo members, or upon request from the organizer for non-UiO users (see below).


Keith Wilson
Published Mar. 25, 2021 10:47 AM - Last modified Apr. 1, 2021 7:45 PM