Jackson’s Mary Argument

Mary is locked up in a black and white room where she is educated through the black and white books together with some lectures that are conveyed on the black and white television. Thus, she is able to learn everything she needs to know concerning the physical nature of the world. She learns all the physical facts concerning the environment and human beings. He learns this from the broad sense of physical that includes all in complete chemistry, neurophysiology, physics and all she needs to know about relational and causal facts consequent. She also learns the functional roles of the course.

From Mary’s case, one realizes that there are phenomenal and subjective qualities related to color and qualities that Mary comes to understand after she was released when she undergoes the different, new colors she experiences. Before she was released, she only understood the physical basis of the qualities subjected their objectives, causes, effects, differences and similarities. She lacked knowledge about the subjective qualities in them.

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According to the knowledge Argument, there is truth in physicalism. This argument notes that if physicalism is true; therefore, Mary knows everything that is supposed to be known in physicalism. Additionally, if physicalism is false, then there is a lot to know than just every physical fact thus that is what is denied by physicalism. However, Mary seems not to know everything there is to be known. This is because when Mary is placed in a black and white room, or given an opportunity to watch a color television, she will learns something new. For instance, she will learn to say what is like to see the color red. This new knowledge of red is described as learning since Mary will achieve new knowledge concerning the world. Therefore, according to the knowledge argument, physicalism is false.

According to Jackson’s knowledge argument, physicalism is a challenging thesis whereby the real world is physical entirely. Therefore, under physicalism, the full physical knowledge about physicalism is the full knowledge about the real world. Therefore, according to Jackson, physicist Mary might know everything there is to be known about the physical nature about the world, but could not know the qualia of experiences of other people. Consequently, physicalism is false.

Concerning Mary’s knowledge, Jackson claims that Mary does not know all is there to be known about the physical nature. This is because when Mary observes her first tomato that was ripe that is when she will understand how poor her conception about her mental life concerning other people has been that whole time. She will understand that there is something she was not aware of that other people knew when she was carrying out her experiments in the laboratory.

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From this argument, one learns that one cannot know everything about something by just reading from the book and carrying out experiments, but also from seeing the actual thing. Therefore, learning to use the actual object helps in understanding all what one need to know about that thing.

According to Lewis, knowing what something is like does not enable one to possess the information about that thing. He adds it is also not the elimination of any previously open possibilities. However, knowing what something is like enables one possess abilities to recognize, predict and imagine behavior of a person or something by imaginative experiments.

Similarly, Lewis says in What Experience Teaches Us, that the ability theory notes that knowing the look of an experience enables one possess abilities to recognize, remember and imagine and not knowing how the experience works. Therefore, according to Lewis, knowing what an experiment looks like is similar to knowing to imagine having this experience. For instance, when Mary is released, what she gains is an imaginative and representational ability. Mary knew everything that was there to be known about experiences of others earlier, but did not have the ability to imagine until she was released.

Lewis also identifies the recognition of how an experience looks like by using certain abilities. He gives an example of a smell of a skunk whereby after smelling it for the first time, one learns what is like to smell the skunk. Later, one can remember similar experience. In addition, when one remembers the experience, she or he can imagine and recreate the experience. Lewis also notes that one can forget the experience with time, but by having an experience of the smell; one can achieve new abilities to imagine and remember.

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Lewis also discusses the ability to recognize an experience when it is brought again. He gives an example of Vegemite taste. He says that if one taste vegemite for the second time, he or she will possibly know that the taste is familiar, or he or she have had it before. Therefore, after tasting the vegemite again one will remember the experience. He also discusses the ability to imagine that can help recognize something one has seen earlier. For instance, when one sees red color and then see yellow, one can imagine something red with yellow spots. This implies that one can use imagination to gain the ability to predict other possibilities.

Consequently, according to Lewis view, abilities to recognize, imagine and remember comprise knowing what something is like. Moreover, one cannot have these abilities without relevant experiences since she or he acquires them after a relevant experience. The main point is that when one is given the procedure of how the world works, or given lessons alone, one cannot be able to know what something is like. Therefore, as Lewis points out, experience is the best teacher on what an experience that is new is like.

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