Strong representationalism and centered content

Philosophical Studies 151 (3):373 - 392 (2010)
I argue that strong representationalism, the view that for a perceptual experience to have a certain phenomenal character just is for it to have a certain representational content (perhaps represented in the right sort of way), encounters two problems: the dual looks problem and the duplication problem. The dual looks problem is this: strong representationalism predicts that how things phenomenally look to the subject reflects the content of the experience. But some objects phenomenally look to both have and not have certain properties, for example, my bracelet may phenomenally look to be circular-shaped and oval-shaped (and hence non-circularshaped). So, if strong representationalism is true, then the content of my experience ought to represent my bracelet as being both circular-shaped and non-circular-shaped. Yet, intuitively, the content of my experience does not represent my bracelet as being both circular-shaped and non-circular-shaped. The duplication problem is this. On a standard conception of content, spatio-temporally distinct experiences and experiences had by distinct subjects may differ in content despite the fact that they are phenomenally indistinguishable. But this undermines the thesis that phenomenal character determines content. I argue that the two problems can be solved by applying a version of an idea from David Chalmers, which is to recognize the existence of genuinely centered properties in the content of perceptual experience
Keywords Strong representationalism  The duplication problem  The dual looks problem  The content of perception  Perceptual content  Phenomenal character  Viewpoint-dependent property  Viewpoint-independent property  Centered worlds  Centered content  Centered properties
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/40926831
 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

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
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
John Searle (1983). Intentionality. Oxford University Press.
David Kaplan (1977/1989). Demonstratives. In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press 481-563.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

108 ( #27,710 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

24 ( #37,511 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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