Mastering Mary

American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (4):361-370 (2019)
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Abstract

I make three claims about the interactions between concept mastery and the knowledge argument. First, I argue that, contra Ball, the concept mastery response to the knowledge argument does not suffer from the heterogeneity of concept mastery. Second, I argue that, when doing metaphysics by relating propositions on the basis of whether a hypothetical agent who knew a base collection could infer a target proposition, it is legitimate to rely on propositions that are not contained in the base, as long as those propositions are required for mastery of relevant concepts. One upshot is that, when checking whether the physical truths a priori entail the consciousness truths, it is fair game to rely on substantive truths about consciousness. Third, I argue that the only version of the knowledge argument that has any hope of succeeding against physicalism completely lacks the argument's driving intuition: that Mary learns something new when she emerges from the black and white room.

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Gabriel Rabin
New York University, Abu Dhabi

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References found in this work

Epiphenomenal qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Individualism and the mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
The Possibility of Physicalism.Shamik Dasgupta - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (9-10):557-592.
From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (197):539-542.
The Ground Between the Gaps.Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17.

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