[Serious Phil] What KA really says
larry_tapper_2 at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 15 13:22:53 CDT 2012
--- In Phil-Sci-Mind at yahoogroups.com, Eray Ozkural <Philscimind at ...> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 3:22 PM, Joseph Polanik <
> Philscimind at ...> wrote:
> > Eray Ozkural wrote:
> > >what KA says is known to identity theorists all along: merely speaking
> > >or thinking about some theory, will not result in any arbitrary
> > >experience. that's because: the brain does not have a universal
> > >experience generator that takes words as input and produces
> > >experiential brain states that correspond to such states.
> > I doubt you'll find anyone who disagrees with that.
> > the KA assumes that all physical (scientific) knowledge can be expressed
> > in words; and, that just having all that knowledge does not instantiate
> > the experience.
> > so Mary learns something when she first experiences red, does she not?
> She doesn't learn a new scientific theory, but she has a new experience,
> I'd say she does record a new observation, but not necessarily a new theory
> because that requires further work.
And she is recording that observation using an instrument (or more precisely a previously unused capability of an old instrument) for the first time. That is the idea of Lewis' ability hypothesis.
Your critics will say that you're missing the point because there are certain kinds of knowledge that are completely non-theoretical (i.e. 'knowledge by acquaintance').
But this objection could be made on two different levels, and I think it's only the deeper level that poses a problem.
On the shallower level would be the claim that there are certain kinds of *propositional* knowledge that are non-theoretical. This can be countered with commonplace arguments about the theory-ladenness of observation, which I think are widely accepted these days.
On the deeper level (where PDJ for one makes the argument) is the idea that there is knowledge which is not only non-theoretical, but also non-propositional (i.e. it cannot be expressed at all).
Me, I'm always suspicious of arguments from ineffability. But anyway I just wanted to point out that that's where your "new observation" remark logically leads.
> That is to say, the confusion of dualists here is the typical confusion of
> theory and something else (here, experience).
> So, amazingly a theory of experience isn't the same thing as experience.
> Just as theory of gravity isn't the same thing as gravity.
> Why is that even surprising?
> It seems to me that this is a linguistic confusion, if you had used
> language properly, you would not be surprised.
> Eray Ozkural, PhD candidate. Comp. Sci. Dept., Bilkent University, Ankara
> http://myspace.com/arizanesil http://myspace.com/malfunct
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