Why it doesn’t matter to metaphysics what Mary learns

Philosophical Studies 167 (3):541-555 (2014)
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Abstract

The Knowledge Argument of Frank Jackson has not persuaded physicalists, but their replies have not dispelled the intuition that someone raised in a black and white environment gains genuinely new knowledge when she sees colors for the first time. In what follows, we propose an explanation of this particular kind of knowledge gain that displays it as genuinely new, but orthogonal to both physicalism and phenomenology. We argue that Mary’s case is an instance of a common phenomenon in which something new is learned as the result of exploiting representational resources that were not previously exploited, and that this results in gaining genuinely new information

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Author Profiles

Robert Cummins
University of California, Davis
Martin Roth
Drake University
Ian Harmon
Rice University

Citations of this work

Lockean Empathy.Colin Marshall - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (1):87-106.

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References found in this work

What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Knowing How.Jason Stanley & Timothy Willlamson - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (8):411-444.

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