Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Talk at Bogazici: Erhan Demircioglu on “Recognitional Identification and the Knowledge Argument” 02/11/2012

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Erhan Demircioglu will be giving a talk this Friday (02/11/2012) at Bogazici on “Recognitional Identification and the Knowledge Argument”. The talk will take place from 5-7pm in TB130. Everyone welcome.
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ABSTRACT: Frank Jackson’s famous Knowledge Argument asks us to consider Mary, a perfect scientist who has all physical knowledge about experiencing red and yet who has not experienced red before. The intuition is that when Mary leaves her room and sees a ripe tomato, she will be surprised and exclaim “So, that is what it is like to see red!”, and thus will acquire a new piece of information about experiencing red. And, since physicalism implies that given her complete physical knowledge, Mary knows everything about experiencing red, Jackson argues, physicalism is false. Some physicalists (e.g., John Perry) have countered against this argument by arguing that what Mary lacks before experiencing red is merely a piece of recognitional knowledge of an identity, and that since having (or lacking) a piece of recognitional knowledge of an identity is not, or does not entail, having (or lacking) any pieces of knowledge of worldly facts, physicalism is safe.  I will argue that what Mary lacks in her room is not merely a piece of recognitional knowledge of an identity and that some physicalists have failed to see this because of a failure to appreciate that Mary’s epistemic progress when she first experiences red has two different stages. While the second stage of her epistemic progress can be plausibly considered as acquiring a piece of recognitional knowledge of an identity, there is a good reason to think that the first epistemic stage cannot be thus considered.
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Written by Lucas Thorpe

October 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm

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