• Home
  • Philosophy
  • What’s the most promising way for physicalists (identity theorists or functionalists) try to reply to Frank Jackson's Mary argument?

What’s the most promising way for physicalists (identity theorists or functionalists) try to reply to Frank Jackson’s Mary argument? Essay Example

  • Category:
    Philosophy
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    2
  • Words:
    994

Frank Jackson’s Mary Argument Analysis

It is important to basically comprehend the fact that the knowledge argument presents a fundamental challenge to the aspect of physicalism, which notes that the world is imminently physical. Frank first argument is the claim that there are set of truths related to consciousness that can never be successfully deduced from the overall physical truth. For instance, Frank Jackson’s Mary comprehends the underlying physical truth while being positioned in a black-and-white room. Immediately after leaving the room, she sees a tomato for a very first instance and goes on a mission to learn new set of phenomenon truths that relates to seeing the red coloured tomato. In this instance, the befitting argument is that unlike physicalism, the overall full physical truth is not necessarily the entire truth. In fact, it ascertains the claim that physical truth cannot be fully-positioned to establish or metaphysically necessitate the entire truth related to the world.

It is crucial to understand that the knowledge argument posit two forms of claims. First, it is argued that physical knowledge is never sufficient enough for upholding phenomenal knowledge, which is popularly referred as knowledge intuition. Secondly, the other form claims that knowledge intuition is vehemently made up of falsity of physicalism.

Of great importance to understand, Mary’s case has been able to successfully differentiate the aspect of knowledge intuition into three fundamental claims that include; first, the complete-knowledge claim that is fairly expounded by the simple fact that prior to leaving the room, Mary seems to understand fully everything that is physical in nature. Secondly, there is the learning claim, which is expounded by the fact that after she immediately leaves the room, she is able to learn something new. Third, the argument posits a non-deductibility claim that ascertains that when she finally abandons the room then it cannot be successfully priori deduced on reasoning alone; the aspect of complete physical truth. While it is most certain that most of the physicalist’s could go ahead and completely deny the knowledge intuition claim; Mary’s case postulates that doing so would require them to also reject in its entirety the stipulation of complete-knowledge claim; learning claim as well as the non-deductibility claim.

The argument further posits the notion related to metaphysically necessary truths. It is important to note that a necessary truth is that which would not, at any given moment, fail to be the fundamental case. Truths that are not considered to be necessary are sometimes noted as being contingent. In this regard, a metaphysically necessary truth is not deemed to be truth of pure logic hence they are not all a priori. Taking a closer look at Frank Jackson’s version of knowledge argument, the immediate presumption that Mary understands a full physical truth relating to the world does not necessarily ascertains that she would be positioned fairly to comprehend the overall truth relating to human colour vision. His immediate reasoning framework basically relies on complete physical truth.

Frank Jackson’s reasoning on knowledge can be fairly-comprehended by his immediate reasoning that is well-presented in relation to his perspective on psychophysical conditional position. This level of contribution is directly linked to his inference from the knowledge intuition to the notion of physicalism falsity. The inference presumes that in the event that physicalism is deemed to be true then the overall full truth relating to human colour vision is a priori deducible from the complete physical truth. Considering the fact that Frank Jackson has been able to successfully conceive the notion of physicalism then it can be seen to entail psychophysical conditional being a priori. However, in this case, most of the physicalists have a rather natural and direct response that calls for the characterisation of physicalism as a posteriori necessity. In this response, the characterisation of the psychophysical conditional is indeed metaphysically necessary but not a priori at all.

Notably, most of the physicalists’ responses on Frank Jackson’s argument could be vehemently differentiated into a set of categories. First, there is a higher likelihood that there are those physicalists that would reject the inference put forth to expound on physicalism’ falsity and therefore, deny metaphysical gaps. Secondly, there is a possibility of responses that would be focused on rejecting the overall knowledge intuition and as a result of this, go ahead to disqualify the epistemic gap in its entirety. Additionally, there are those physicalists responses that would make efforts to deduce the element of absurdity from Frank Jackson’s overall reasoning. In regards to the response associated with rejecting the inference from the knowledge intuition to physicalism’s immediate falsity, the physicalists could likely defend their position using a version of physicalism for which psychophysical conditional is considered to be necessary but still not a priori. In fact, there will be other possible ways for denying the inference altogether so that one will be through rejecting the presumption that phenomenal knowledge is indeed proportional set of knowledge-which is simply knowledge related to truths and information. This means that the type of knowledge that Mary acquires after she gets out of the room can be argued to as being non-proportional in nature. The most well-known notion of this perspective is focused on the underlying ability hypothesis that notes that for one to understand what is like to possess certain capabilities like imagining; recognising as well as learning the element of truth. Another paramount way for which the physicalists can engage in rejecting the inference physicalism falsity will be to argue that Mary’s learning is only focused on acquiring newer ways of presenting facts that she knew well prior to getting out of the room. The perspective can be fairly aligned with to the appeal pushing for a posteriori necessity. They can also further deny the knowledge intuition by way of posing a challenge on complete-knowledge postulation and thus, argue that it is not necessarily true that all physical facts about perceiving colours can be successfully learned by solely watching black-and-white lecturers.