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Comment: Nice unread hardcover, but missing dust jacket. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is tight. Publisher mark on bottom edge. Securely packed.
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There's Something About Mary: Essays on Phenomenal Consciousness and Frank Jackson's Knowledge Argument (Bradford Books) Hardcover – December 3, 2004

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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About the Author

Peter Ludlow, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, is the author of Semantics, Tense, and Time: An Essay in the Metaphysics of Natural Language (MIT Press, 1999), among other books, and the editor of Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias (MIT Press, 2001) and High Noon on the Electronic Frontier (MIT Press, 1996).

Yujin Nagasawa is Research Fellow at the Australian National University and Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta.

Daniel Stoljar is Senior Fellow at the Australian National University.
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Product Details

  • Series: Bradford Books
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: A Bradford Book (December 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262122723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262122726
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,425,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul G. Joseph on June 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
While the book does a great job of collecting the views of the major current philosophers on this topic, it didn't address possibly what to me is the most interesting paper to date on this subject. I speak of the 1998 paper by V. S. Ramachandran and William Hirstein--"Three Laws of Qualia: What Neurology Tells Us about the Biological Functions of Consciousness, Qualia and the Self."

In this paper the authors pose a convincing explanation for the knowledge problem. They argue that the epistemological barrier is only apparent, is essentially one of language, and the experience itself is lost in the translation. They imply that Mary never had all the physical facts as her brain never went into that configuration of neurons that mean the person is experiencing or seeing the color red, and that had Mary had available to her a "neuron bridge" through which this purely physical configuration was made available to her, only then could we reasonable say she had all the physical facts known to her. In other words, an important physical fact of the color red for a human includes the way the neurons in our brain configure on seeing red.

The omission of this paper and also of any discussion of this paper, which was published in a very well known journal, about six years before the date of publication of this book, is a surprising, puzzling, and serious omission. For this reason I only give this book three stars--many of the papers are rendered moot in my opinion as they fail to account for the very understandable, commonsense concept above, proposed by Ramachandran and Hisrstein. All the papers in the volume are authored exclusively by philosophers and in this day and age, this kind of silofication on a topic, particularly in the cognitive sciences, should be a thing of the past.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains thoughtful essays that critique Frank Jackson's story about Mary. The selections offered what seemed to my unprofessional viewpoint to be wide-ranging and comprehensive. I thought Frank Jackson's own commentaries were among the most readable and penetrating. Excepting Jackson and maybe one or two others, the various authors, all professional philosophers, seem helpless when offered opportunities to use big words when small ones would serve. Did they want to be understood, or admired at a distance by lesser beings? If I were grading the essays, writers in the habit of using words greater than 6 syllables would be encouraged to revise their sentences. Or hanged.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extremely thorough but also readable review of thought experiment about Mary in the black-and-white room.
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