Phenomenal continua and the sorites

Mind 110 (440):905-935 (2001)
Abstract
I argue that, contrary to widespread philosophical opinion, phenomenal indiscriminability is transitive. For if it were not transitive, we would be precluded from accepting the truisms that if two things look the same then the way they look is the same and that if two things look the same then if one looks red, so does the other. Nevertheless, it has seemed obvious to many philosophers (e.g. Goodman, Armstrong and Dummett) that phenomenal indiscriminability is not transitive; and, moreover, that this non-transitivity is straightforwardly revealed to us in experience. I show this thought to be wrong. All inferences from the character of our experience to the non-transitivity of indiscriminability involve either a misunderstanding of continuity, a mistaken interpretation of the idea that we have limited powers of discrimination, or tendentious claims about what our experience is really like; or such inferences are based on inadequately supported premisses, which though individually plausible are jointly implausible
Keywords Continua  Discrimination  Indiscernibility  Metaphysics  Phenomenalism  Sorites  Transitivity  Jackson, F  Pinkerton, R
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Citations of this work BETA
Philippe Chuard (2007). Indiscriminable Shades and Demonstrative Concepts. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):277 – 306.
Ofra Magidor (2012). Strict Finitism and the Happy Sorites. Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (2):471-491.

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