How to respond to philosophers on raw feels

I address this talk to anyone who believes in the possibility of an informative empirical science about sensory qualities. Potentially this is a large audience. By "sensory quality" I mean those qualities manifest in various sensory experiences: color, taste, smell, touch, pain, and so on. We should include sensory modalities humans do not share, such as electro-reception in fish, echolocation in bats, or the skylight compass in birds. Those pursuing empirical science about this large domain might pursue it in the halls of experimental psychology, psycho-physics, psychometrics, psycho-physiology, sensory physiology, neuroscience, neuro-biology, comparative psychology, neuro-anatomy, and so on and on. These days even molecular genetics has kicked in with some notable recent contributions to the sequencing of genes for photopigments and for olfactory receptors. But to all those investigators in all those halls I bring bad news. Your discipline is _a priori_ impossible. Philosophers whom you do not know have uncovered _a priori_ proofs that empirical investigation which proceeds along the lines currently underway, or which will proceed along lines that are currently _imaginable_, does not, will not, and cannot explain the sensory qualities of experience. Or at least so they say. You might as well give up now.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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: 15,914
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Alison Simmons (2003). Descartes on the Cognitive Structure of Sensory Experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):549–579.
Joseph Thomas Tolliver (1999). Sensory Holism and Functionalism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):972-973.
Nicholas Maxwell (1966). Physics and Common Sense. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 16 (February):295-311.
Nicholas Maxwell (1966). Physics and Common Sense. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 16 (February):295-311.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

66 ( #49,873 of 1,725,607 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #110,407 of 1,725,607 )

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.