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PH100 Lecture Notes

3 consciousness differs in kind from physical

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3. Consciousness differs in kind from physical entities, objects, and processes. Frank Jackson, “Epiphenomenal Qualia” “Physical information”: what the physical sciences teaches us. Physicalism: “All (correct) information is physical information” (127). The thesis of physicalism entails that what is true can be stated in a physical language (i.e., a language that uses only terms from physical sciences. How does Jackson's definition relate to our definition of physicalism? Ours describes the different kinds of entities Jackson's describes the information about those different entities Jackson's aim: To show that physicalism is false Physicalism is not complete information Jackson's acknowledgement of mental causation: Physical causes mental, but mental doesn't cause physical So why does the mental realm exist? Jackson's response: What if it was a byproduct of some useful advantage polar bear having a warm coat → slows him down (byproduct) The case of Fred crucial question: “What kind of experience does Fred have when he sees red1 and red2? What is the new color or colors like?” & “Do we know?” The case of Mary The Knowledge Argument 1. Mary has complete physical information while in her black-and-white room. 2. When Mary is released, she learns something new. 3. (from 1 & 2) There is information that Mary lacked while in her black-and-white room – i.e., there is information that is not physical (qualia). [Premise 3 should be rejected: What Mary learns is an ability, not a fact] – The Ability Hypothesis 4. If physicalism is true, then all information is physical information. 5. (from 3 & 4) Physicalism is false. The Ability Hypothesis Knowing how to ride a bike (knowledge-how) – abilities Not ALL knowledge comes from experience, just some knowledge comes from experience. Phenomenal information → new phenomenal information Phenomenal information + physical information → new phenomenal information Physical information DOES NOT → new phenomenal information
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Knowing the instructions on how to ride a bike (knowledge-that) – knowledge of facts September 25, 2012: The Modal Argument The Modal Argument Modal claims are claims about possibility (what is possible) and necessity (what is necessary). Possible worlds! Possible worlds are stipulated and not discovered (world that you made up) Possible world: a complete and logically consistent description of how things (the world or the universe) could have been. Truths A statement is actually true, if it is true in this world (i.e., the actual world) e.g., Barack Obama won the presidential election in 2008. A statement is actually false , if it s false in this world (i.e., the actual world) This class meets on Wednesdays.
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