Mary, the brilliant color scientist…


I was teaching Hume last week and mentioned Frank Jackson’s well-known thought experiment about Mary, the brilliant color scientist from his paper, “Epiphenomenal Qualia.”  David Lodge, in Thinks…, makes mention of Mary as well:

It is a picture of another windowless, cell-like room, but crowded with furniture and equipment — a desk, filing cabinets, bookshelves, computers, and a TV set. Everything is painted in black and white or shades of grey, including the young woman who sits at the desk. She wears black gloves, black shoes, opaque black stockings, and a white lab coat. The image on the TV screen is monochrome. But the room is built underground; above the surface, shown in cross-section, is a smiling pastoral landscape, full of brilliant colour. Continue reading