Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):19-30 (1995)

Ronald Endicott
North Carolina State University
In this paper I offered a friendly amendment to Paul Churchland’s a well-known criticism of Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument. According to Jackson’s argument, a hypothetical Mary, living in her darkened stimulus-impoverished environment, knows all information from physical science about the perception of color but still does not know everything, e.g., what it is like to experience the color red. Churchland offered a refutation by analogy whereby Mary is an ectoplasmologist who knows all the supposed nonphysical things that friends of the hard problem of qualia believe about that phenomenon. So Mary knows everything ectoplasmic about the perception of color but still does not know everything – what it is like to experience the color red. I made a necessary adjustment whereby Mary is not just an ectoplasmologist but a dualist who knows everything physical and ectoplasmic about the perception of color. By the same reasoning, then, the Jackson-style argument would refute dualism too. I also offered a diagnosis of the problem much in the spirit of other criticisms, namely, that things like experiencing red or riding a bicycle can be fully physical even though Mary would not “know how” to experience red or ride a bicycle simply by possessing all the “know that”/propositional/book-learning about those things.
Keywords Knowledge Argument  Physicalism  Churchland, P  Jackson, F
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ISBN(s) 0038-4283
DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.1995.tb00728.x
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