Imagining, recognizing and discriminating : reconsidering the ability hypothesisImagining, recognizing and discriminating : reconsidering the ability hypothesis
Faculty of Arts. Philosophy
2009Providence, R.I., 2009
Philosophy and phenomenological research. - Providence, R.I.
79(2009):3, p. 699-717
According to the Ability Hypothesis, knowing what it is like to have experience E is just having the ability to imagine or recognize or remember having experience E. I examine various versions of the Ability Hypothesis and point out that they all face serious objections. Then I propose a new version that is not vulnerable to these objections: knowing what it is like to experience E is having the ability to discriminate imagining or having experience E from imagining or having any other experience. I argue that if we replace the ability to imagine or recognize with the ability to discriminate, the Ability Hypothesis can be salvaged.