Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Studies 122 (2):203 - 212 (2005)
|Abstract||Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Diana Raffman (in press) emphasizes a useful and important distinction that deserves heed in discussions of phenomenal consciousness: the distinction between what itâ€™s like to see red and how red things look. (Two alternative locutions that also can express the latter idea, we take it, are â€˜what red looks likeâ€™ and â€˜what red is likeâ€™.) Raffman plausibly argues that this distinction should be incorporated into theories of phenomenal consciousness, including materialist theoriesâ€”in particular, into the materialist theory we focused on in Graham and Horgan (2000), Michael Tyeâ€™s PANIC theory. She also argues that incorporation of the distinction into Tyeâ€™s theory provides the basis for plausible reply on Tyeâ€™s behalf to our â€˜Mary Maryâ€™ version of the knowledge argument against materialism. We agree that Tye would do well to incorporate the distinction, as would advocates of other theories phenomenal consciousness. But in our view, doing so ultimately does not help fend off the Mary-Mary argument. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Raffman argues that knowing what itâ€™s like to see red is a derivative matter, involving introspective attention to oneâ€™s experience of seeing red. She suggests that the more fundamental state is knowing how red things look. She writes: What I want to suggestâ€¦is that we view Maryâ€™s new knowledge as deriving almost entirely from her perceptual representationsâ€¦. That is to say, we ought to view her new knowledge as deriving not from introspection or from higher-order consciousness, but from perception or phenomenal consciousness. I will say that the primary object of Maryâ€™s learning is not what itâ€™s like to see red, but rather how red things lookâ€¦. Mary learns how red things look whether or not she introspectsâ€¦. How red things look is learned by perceiving; what itâ€™s like to see (look at) red is learned by introspectingâ€¦..|
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