DOES MARY LEARN AT LEAST SOMETHING NEW?

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Transliteration of original Title: 
Uznaet li Meri khot' chto-nibud' novoe?
Author(s): 
Mstislav Kazakov
National Technical University of Ukraine “Kyiv Polytechnic University”
Issue number: 
No. 1 (Vol. 43)
Pages: 
98-111
Abstract: 

The paper deals with the problem of subjective experience and the problem of knowledge and experience correlation, basing on the thought experiment of Frank Jackson known as “Mary, the neuroscientist”. According to Jackson, the subjective experience of seeing colour (along with having previous knowledge about what is it like – to see colours) adds something new to knowledge we’ve already had. The author disagrees with such a position and conducts another thought experiment which can be called “dreamtown visiting”. The experiment is essentially similar to Jackson’s experiment, but, as it becomes clear, it demonstrates, that we do not get any new knowledge but only get the experience which cannot be converted into knowledge, because there is no way of such a converting (this comes out from author’s conclusions made on the basis of the reflections on the thought experiment). It is also substantiated that, while discussing epiphenomenalism arguments, there shouldn’t be distinction on “know what” and “know how” – in this case we deal with the distinction of knowledge (as a holistic phenomenon) and experience (which can be considered as data, which can either be used in practice or not). In case of Mary, who walks out of her room, she gets new experience, but now an additional knowledge, and this experience has no expression in new ways of representation of visual experience (that already exists) and no practical usage. That is why, to author, epiphenomenalistic arguments in the discussion about human mind are unjustified.

Keywords: 
philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, knowledge, experience
References: 

Gettier E. “Chy je znannjam obg'runtovane ta istynne perekonannja?” (“Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?”) Antologija suchasnoi' analitychnoi' filosofii', abo zhuk zalyshaje korobku (Anthology of Modern Analytical Philosophy or The Bug Leaves Its Box). Lvov, 2014. pp.31-34

Jackson F. “Epifenomenal'ni kvalia” (“Epiphenomenal qualia”). Antologija suchasnoi' analitychnoi' filosofii', abo zhuk zalyshaje korobku (Anthology of Modern Analytical Philosophy or The Bug Leaves Its Box). Lvov, 2014. pp. 260-273

Austin J.L. “Chuzhoe soznanie” (“Other Minds”). Filosofiya, logika, yazyk (Philosophy, logic, language). Moscow, 1987. pp. 48-96

Foucault M. Arkheologiya znaniya (Archaeology of Knowledge). St. Petersburg, 2012. 416 p.

Hofstadter D., Dennett D.C. Glaz razuma (The Mind’s Eye). Samara, 2003. 432 p.

Jackson F. “Chogo ne znala Merі?” (“What Mary Didn’t Know?”) [Digital Source]. Available at: http://www.philsci.univ.kiev.ua/biblio/Djekson.html

DOI: 
10.5840/eps201543134
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