Why it doesn’t matter to metaphysics what Mary learns

Philosophical Studies 167 (3):541-555 (2014)

Authors
Robert Cummins
University of California, Davis
Martin Roth
Drake University
Ian Harmon
Rice University
Abstract
The Knowledge Argument of Frank Jackson has not persuaded physicalists, but their replies have not dispelled the intuition that someone raised in a black and white environment gains genuinely new knowledge when she sees colors for the first time. In what follows, we propose an explanation of this particular kind of knowledge gain that displays it as genuinely new, but orthogonal to both physicalism and phenomenology. We argue that Mary’s case is an instance of a common phenomenon in which something new is learned as the result of exploiting representational resources that were not previously exploited, and that this results in gaining genuinely new information
Keywords Knowledge argument  Physicalism  Phenomenology  Representation
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0110-1
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References found in this work BETA

What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
The Nature and Structure of Content.Jeffrey C. King - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.

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Lockean Empathy.Colin Marshall - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (1):87-106.

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