PH100 Lecture Notes

When we compare phenomenal consciousness to matter or

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Unformatted text preview: When we compare phenomenal consciousness to matter or physical entities, the two appear to be drastically different. What then is the best explanation of this appearance of difference? 1. Espouse a form of dualism. 2. Consciousness and matter/physical entities appear to be different because they are different. 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 • 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....
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When we compare phenomenal consciousness to matter or...

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