This is a paper that I will be presenting soon. I would appreciate any constructive criticisms you all might have to offer.
The “‘she’ll be surprised damnit!’ intuition” is the appellation that Daniel Dennett gives to the intuitive expectation of what will happen when Mary, an neurologically omniscient scientist, has her first experience of color. Dennett disparages the aforementioned intuitive response because he believes that the intuition results from a thought experiment that “encourages us to misunderstand its premises.” He proceeds to “elucidate” these misunderstandings by “turning the knobs” in the thought experiment, i.e., by altering the circumstances of the thought experiment to show the folly of the intuitive response to Mary’s first experience of color.
What follows is a more precise representation of Jackson’s attempt to argue for the spurious nature of physicalism, a critical examination of Dennett’s supposed exposure of the sophistry of Jackson’s argument (via “turning the knobs” in the thought experiment), and an altered version of Mary’s first experience that shows that Dennett’s “Mariology” (a term coined to describe theoretical study of Mary’s first encounter with color) is in need of revision. Specifically, this altered Mary-esque thought experiment shows that the cause of Mary’s epistemological limitation of experience is physiological in nature. I will argue that it is physically impossible for Dennett to be correct in saying that Mary will not learn something new when she has her first experience of color. Finally, I will briefly respond to, what seems to be, a plausible objection to my argument, and conclude with some remarks on the broader philosophical significance of the argument.