Forms of Knowing and Epistemic Resources

Authored by: Alexis Shotwell

The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Injustice

Print publication date:  April  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138828254
eBook ISBN: 9781315212043
Adobe ISBN: 9781351814508


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There is a thought experiment well-known in philosophy of mind but not particularly elsewhere, in which Frank Jackson imagined ‘Mary,’ a fabulous scientist imprisoned since birth in a black-and-white room. Mary has made her life’s work the study of color and knows all the facts there are to know about color and perception. In two papers, Jackson argued that Mary would learn something, something new, if she were ever freed into the world of color – and thus that physicalism, constituted for him as the thesis that ‘complete physical knowledge is complete knowledge simpliciter’ (Jackson 1986: 291) is false. If everything in the world is physical, we should be able to describe that world in truth-verifiable propositions.

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