Discussion:
  1. Benj Hellie (2007). 'There's Something It's Like' and the Structure of Consciousness. Philosophical Review 116 (3):441--63.
    I discuss the meaning of 'There's something e is like', in the context of a reply to Eric Lormand's 'The explanatory stopgap'. I argue that Lormand is wrong to think it has a specially perceptual meaning. Rather, it has one of at least four candidate meanings: (a) e is some way as regards its subject; (b) e is some way and e's being that way is in the possession of its subject; (c) e is some way in the awareness of (...)
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2009-12-20
Why is this paper so popular?
This is by a wide margin my most-downloaded paper on PhilPapers. Why is this? I don't think it's my /best/ paper -- 'Multidisjunctive' and 'Externalist's guide' are more interesting, in my view; and 'Noise' is (IMHO!) the final word on its subject-matter (if sort of hard to read).
Theories:
  1. High-profile forum? (But 'Noise', in /Mind/, has way fewer downloads)
  2. Critical? (But this paper has more than twice as many downloads as the paper it criticizes)
  3. On the rarely discussed topic of the language of experience reports? (But see the previous)
  4. Feet in several categories? 
Somewhat inclined to think it's all of these working together: it's the most-downloaded paper in Pronouns and Anaphora, and the fourth most-downloaded paper in What is it Like?; also there's stuff in there for the active HOT community; and there's the imprimatur of /Phil Review/; and it opens a can of, ah, criticism of Lormand's weird view, for fun.



2010-01-17
Why is this paper so popular?
Reply to Benj Hellie
Hi Benj, I'd say there are two main factors at play here, though all the factors you mention are certainly relevant.

First, for a long time there was a problem with Online Papers on Consciousness and MindPapers and they were not showing new entries added to relevant cats on PP.  OPC is still seeing considerable usage, and this paper was on OPC, but not some of your other more recent papers, including Noise (Noise is still not on OPC because there's no free link for it). More than a third of downloads of your "what it's like" paper come from OPC. I think OPC is reaching a lot of non-philosophers PP is not reaching.

Second, I think the fact that this paper's title uses less technical language and widely used keywords like 'consciousness'  has helped it compared to the other papers you mention. It probably gets more non-specialist downloads.





2010-01-17
Why is this paper so popular?
Reply to David Bourget
Interesting. Thanks!