Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The knowledge argument revisted

In my post on the knowledge argument, one response in the comments section argued that my argument only argued against red qualia (or any color qualia not light or dark since all known linguistic communities have at least these two basic color concepts/terms) and thus not effective against Jackson's argument against physicalism. Her example is that we may think of someone who is raised in an all white environment. Assuming that it is possible to do so without any shades of white such as coming from shadows or from closing of one's eyes etc, I think this approach misses the rhetorical point of my argument.

The argument I made is meant to show that the quintessential example of a color qualia (red in Jackson's example) can be doubted that it has the private property it is alleged to have by culturally relativising red. If red qualia goes by way of relativism, what is to stop all color qualia including light or dark qualia going with it? What makes these more special as qualia that red is not? Now the burden is at least shifted. That was the intended rhetorical point of my argument.

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