Volume 18, Issue 1, 2018
On Thought Experiments
On Understanding a Theory on Conscious Experiences
McGinn claims, among other things, that we cannot understand the theory that explains how echolocationary experiences arise from the bat’s brain. One of McGinn’s arguments for this claim appeals to the fact that we cannot know in principle what it is like to have echolocationary experiences. According to Kirk, McGinn’s argument fails because it rests on an illegitimate assumption concerning what explanatory theories are supposed to accomplish. However, I will argue that Kirk’s objection misfires because he misapprehends McGinn’s argument. Further, I will articulate and briefly assess some ways in which McGinn’s argument can be blocked.