The Knowledge Argument By Jackson

1134 WordsDec 10, 20165 Pages
The Knowledge Argument by Jackson is one of the main threats to Physicalism. Physicalism says that everything that is or could ever exist is ultimately physical in nature. The Knowledge Argument claims that there are truths about consciousness that cannot be deduced from the complete physical truth. Lewis’ response on the other hand, disagrees with the Knowledge Argument. In this paper I will address the Knowledge Argument and Lewis’ response to it. The following is a thought experiment by Jackson to undermine Physicalism. “Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor. She specialises in the neurophysiology of vision and acquires, let us suppose, all the physical information there is to obtain about what goes on when we see ripe tomatoes, or the sky, and use terms like ‘red’, ‘blue’, and so on. She discovers, for example, just which wavelength combinations from the sky stimulate the retina...What will happen when Mary is released from her black and white room or is given a colour television monitor? Will she learn anything or not? It seems just obvious that she will learn something about the world and our visual experience of it. But then it is inescapable that her previous knowledge was incomplete. But she had all the physical information. Ergo there is more to have than that, and Physicalism is false” (Jackson 130). At this point of time, Mary supposedly
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