The Know-How Response to Jackson's Knowledge Argument
Raymont (Paul)
Source: Journal of Philosophical Research, XXIV (1999): 113-26
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    I defend Frank Jackson's knowledge argument against physicalism in the philosophy of mind from a criticism that has been advanced by Laurence Nemirow and David Lewis. According to their criticism, what Mary lacked when she was in her black and white room was a set of abilities; she did not know how to recognize or imagine certain types of experience from a first-person perspective1. Her subsequent discovery of what it is like to experience redness amounts to no more than her acquisition of these abilities. (edited) I here set out to undermine one of the replies to Jackson's knowledge argument. The reply has been defended by David Lewis and Laurence Nemirow. According to it, when she first sees red Mary does not thereby acquire knowledge of facts about earlier experiences, facts of which she was ignorant while still in her black and white room. Instead, all that Mary acquires is new know-how, knowledge of how to do certain things. I reject this proposal on the basis of counterexamples to it.

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