Handout Dualism 11

Handout Dualism 11 - Handout 107 Physicalism is the view...

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Handout 107 Physicalism is the view that the only facts are physical facts. On one common understanding, a physical fact is one that can be described by the physical sciences such as physics, chemistry etc. Dualists maintain the mind is non-physical. So, Dualists must reject Physicalism. Frank Jackson has given an argument against physicalism. It goes like this. We imagine Mary who is brought up in a black and white room. She sees no other colour except black and white. Mary is a super scientist. While still in her room she learns every physical fact; including every physical fact about colour sensations. When she leaves her room Mary has her first red sensation. She exclaims: ‘That is what it is like to see red’. It seems that Mary has come to know a new fact: a fact about what it is like to see red. But, while still in her room, Mary knew every physical fact. So, the new fact she has come to know on leaving her room, the fact about what it is like to see red, cannot be a physical fact. It must be a non-physical fact. Jackson’s argument has come to be known as the Knowledge Argument. One reply to the Knowledge Argument distinguishes between knowledge of a fact, factual knowledge, and knowing how to do something. When Mary comes to know what it is like to experience red, she does not acquire new factual knowledge. Instead, she acquires new knowledge how. In other words, she acquires a new
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2012 for the course PHI 107 taught by Professor Mattskene during the Spring '08 term at Syracuse.

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Handout Dualism 11 - Handout 107 Physicalism is the view...

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