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And In This Corner Levine Vs Jackson To Be Or Not To Be a Physicalist A physicalist is one who believes that all information is physical This is a view that sees all factual knowledge as that which can be formulated as a statement about physical objects and activities Thus the language of science can be reduced to third Person descriptions Philosopher Frank Jackson an anti-physicalist proposes the knowledge argument against physicalism which goes as follows Suppose that there is a brilliant neuroscientist lets call her Mary who for her whole life has lived in a black and white room Now Mary has learned every physical fact about everything there is to know in life Shes observed the outside world and learned these physical facts by watching other peoples experiences and reactions yet all in black and white One day she is let out of the colorless room and sees a red rose for the first time Despite the fact that she knows everything physical there is to know about roses and peoples reactions to roses she still learns something new at the instant she sees the color red for the first time This knowledge argument can be summed up as so P1 If physicalism is true then one can know all the facts there are just by knowing all the physical facts P2 Mary knows all physical information P3 When she experiences red she learns something new C Therefore physicalism is false because the experience of red thing is a fact one cannot know just by knowing all the physical facts Jacksons argument is pretty convincing in supporting the anti-physicalist view However philosopher Levine comes back with a strong argument declaring the knowledge argument as true in one sense yet false in another Levines problem stems from the way Mary supposedly learns the new information He agrees that perhaps Mary doesnt learn any new facts yet
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