Representationalism, Perceptual Distortion, and the Limits of Phenomenal Concepts

Abstract
This paper replies to objections from perceptual distortion (blur, perspective, double vision, etc.) against the representationalist thesis that the phenomenal characters of experiences supervene on their intentional contents. It has been argued that some pairs of distorted and undistorted experiences share contents without sharing phenomenal characters, which is incompatible with the supervenience thesis. In reply, I suggest that such cases are not counterexamples to the representationalist thesis because the contents of distorted experiences are always impoverished in some way compared to those of normal experiences. This can be shown by considering limit cases of perceptual distortion, for example, maximally blurry experiences, which manifestly lack details present in clear experiences. I argue that since there is no reasonable way to draw the line between distorted experiences that have degraded content and distorted experiences that don't, we should allow that an increase in distortion is always accompanied by a degradation in content. I also discuss the prospects for a positive account of the contents specific to distorted experiences. I argue that the prospects for such an account are dim, but that this is due to limitations of our phenomenal concepts, not to the falsity of the representationalist thesis.
Keywords representationalism intentionalism  distortion  blur blurry vision  intentionalism intentionality  perceptual content  double vision  transparency  perspective  phenomenal concepts  consciousness phenomenal character
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive David Bourget, Representationalism, Perceptual Distortion, and the Limits of Phenomenal Concepts
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Jeff Speaks (2010). Attention and Intentionalism. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):325-342.
Alex Byrne (2009). Experience and Content. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):429-451.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-11-01

Total downloads

491 ( #353 of 1,099,722 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

57 ( #1,311 of 1,099,722 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.