By Yan S.J., Wang J.G. (eds.)
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Extra info for Probability Theory and Its Applications in China
Jackson's knowledge argument is not the only reasoned argument against materialism. Other antimaterialist philosophers have also tried to go beyond the brute intuition that mind and brain cannot be identical, and have aimed to show how this denial follows validly from plausible premisses. In this chapter I shall look at Saul Kripke's modal argument against mind–brain identity, and in Chapter 5 I shall look at the argument that materialism leaves us with an unacceptable ‘explanatory gap’. ) Neither Kripke's argument nor the explanatory gap argument succeeds in discrediting materialism.
It allows that Mary acquires new powers of imagination and introspection. Even so, the ability hypothesis does not really do justice to the change in Mary. If we look more closely at Mary's new abilities, we will see that they are inseparable from her power to think certain new kinds of thoughts. Go back to the examples at the beginning of this section. Mary imagines a red experience and thinks ‘People looking at ripe tomatoes experience this’. Or she introspects her current experience, and thinks ‘This is what people experience when they look at ripe tomatoes’.
We can suppose that, in the standard cases of introspective classification, the ‘template’ neural pattern will be activated automatically by some initial match with incoming neural signals. In line with the model suggested earlier, the template might then ‘send down’ further signals, to check whether this initial indication of a match can be ‘filled out’. By contrast, neural activation will not be triggered so directly in the paradigm cases of imaginative re-creation. Rather, acts of imaginative re-creation will result from deliberate choices, or associative connections with other experiences, or from other such sources.