Tag Archives: the knowledge argument

Physicalism Could Be True Even if Mary Learns Something New

Barbara Montero (2007). Physicalism Could Be True Even If Mary Learns Something New. Philosophical Quarterly57 (227):176-189.

Here is a close to final draft of Physicalism could be true even if Mary learns something new.

Abstract. Mary knows all there is to know about physics, chemistry and neurophysiology, yet has never experienced colour. Most philosophers think that if Mary learns something genuinely new upon seeing colour for the first time, then physicalism is false. I argue, however, that physicalism is consistent with Mary’s acquisition of new information. Indeed, even if she has perfect powers of deduction, and higher-level physical facts are a priori deducible from lower-level ones, Mary may still lack concepts which are required in order (…) to deduce from the lower-level physical facts what it is like to see red.