Pleading ignorance in response to experiential primitivism

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Modal arguments like the Knowledge Argument, the Conceivability Argument and the Inverted Spectrum Argument could be used to argue for experiential primitivism; the view that experiential truths aren’t entailed from nonexperiential truths. A way to resist these arguments is to follow Stoljar (Ignorance and imagination. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006) and plead ignorance of a type of experience-relevant nonexperiential truth. If we are ignorant of such a truth, we can’t imagine or conceive of the various sorts of scenarios that are required to make these arguments sound. While I am sympathetic to this response, in this article I will argue that we have good reason to believe that this particular ignorance hypothesis is false.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-269
Number of pages19
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2011


  • Conceivability
  • Consciousness
  • Epistemic gap
  • Ignorance hypothesis
  • Panpsychism
  • Physicalism
  • Qualia
  • Ramseyan humility
  • Zombies


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