PHL101 Paper1 - Evan Vandegriff PHL 101 Paper 1 Jackson's...

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Evan Vandegriff PHL 101 Paper 1 Jackson’s Knowledge Argument 2.) For the past few decades, philosophers have debated the merits and intricacies of Frank Jackson’s Knowledge Argument. The debate centers on the opposing theories of physicalism and dualism. Physicalism states that the world and everything that happens in it can be explained completely by physical facts, where dualism argues that the mind and the body are separate entities and “mental” and “physical” properties are entirely separate. Mental properties are often described as a state, such as “what it’s like to be in pain” or “what it’s like to see a color”. Dualists argue that these states cannot be described only by their physical facts and therefore the mind can be looked at separately from the body. Jackson’s knowledge argument makes a bid for dualism by trying to prove that physicalism is false by looking at a hypothetical situation in which a woman can know all the physical facts about color and yet still experience something new by seeing color for the first time. Others disagree with Jackson’s assertions; Churchland in particular found some compelling counter arguments to the Knowledge Argument. Examining both the argument itself in depth as well as a counter argument presented by Churchland can give us a more thorough understanding of the debate between physicalists and dualists.
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  • Spring '08
  • Braun
  • Physicalism, Qualia, Frank Jackson, physical facts

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