Premium Essay

Jackson's Arguments On Epiphenomenalism And Physicalism

Submitted By
Words 1486
Pages 6
Epiphenomenalism and Physicalism

Physicalism, which is often, in contemporary philosophy interchangeably called Materialism, asserts that the physical world, and everything in it conforms to a certain condition, that of being Physical, either as a causal force or as material. The main argument against Physicalism, Jackson’s argument claims that there exists a contradiction between the existence of Qualia (The felt qualities of experience) and Physicalism. Jackson’s argument is given in the form of a thought experiment in which Mary, a neuroscientist, isolated in a black and white room is given all of the physical facts regarding other people, and so must therefore know everything there is to know about other people. However, it is evident in the second premise that because she learns something new about these people upon being released, she must not have known everything there is to know, though the facts she understood hold true, her experience yields new …show more content…
This brings us to the second doctrine avowed by a priori physicalists: the doctrine that psychological sentences like ‘I am in pain’, and ‘Fred is seeing red’ – and if it comes to that, economic sentences like ‘Inflation is in decline’ – when true in our world, are a priori entailed by some suitable conjunction of physical sentences…a priori physicalism, in addition to being committed to the necessitation of the mental by the physical nature of our world, something it shares with a posteriori physicalism by virtue of being reductive in the sense of a ‘no extra properties’ doctrine, avows two a priori necessitation doctrines: one concerns the a priori necessitation of the mental or psychological nature (and the economic nature etc.) of our world by its physical

Similar Documents

Premium Essay


...Consciousness and its Place in Nature David J. Chalmers 1 Introduction1 Consciousness fits uneasily into our conception of the natural world. On the most common conception of nature, the natural world is the physical world. But on the most common conception of consciousness, it is not easy to see how it could be part of the physical world. So it seems that to find a place for consciousness within the natural order, we must either revise our conception of consciousness, or revise our conception of nature. In twentieth-century philosophy, this dilemma is posed most acutely in C. D. Broad’s The Mind and its Place in Nature (Broad 1925). The phenomena of mind, for Broad, are the phenomena of consciousness. The central problem is that of locating mind with respect to the physical world. Broad’s exhaustive discussion of the problem culminates in a taxonomy of seventeen different views of the mental-physical relation.2 On Broad’s taxonomy, a view might see the mental as nonexistent (“delusive”), as reducible, as emergent, or as a basic property of a substance (a “differentiating” attribute). The physical might be seen in one of the same four ways. So a fourby-four matrix of views results. (The seventeenth entry arises from Broad’s division of the substance/substance view according to whether one substance or two is involved.) At the end, three views are left standing: those on which mentality is an emergent characteristic of either a physical substance or a neutral substance,...

Words: 20912 - Pages: 84