Friday, August 29, 2008

Epphenmominalism and knowledge

Lets say you are a epiphenominalist. Is the knowledge argument available to you?

here is the knowledge argument again

Mary is kept in a box and taught all the physical facts but no qualitative facts
she is then allowed out of her box and shown the colour RED

(1) If qualitative facts are reducible to, or deducible from, physical facts then May shouldn’t learn anything new
(2) Mary learns something new
(C) Therefore qualitative facts are not reducible to, or deducible from, physical facts

Now if you are an epiphenomenalist you have to explain why qualia match brain states. The normal method would be to stipulate that that is a fact of this universe that brain state X (a result of evolution etc) causes qualia Y. that means that in THIS universe (2) is impossible because one of the physical facts is entailed by that brain state.*

Now it might be possible in a hypothetical other world, but that isn't stipulated in the hypothetical.

*maybe they can argue that the brain state caused by red isn't a physical fact relating to red?? seem silly


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