PhilPapers is currently in read-only mode while we are performing some maintenance. You can use the site normally except that you cannot sign in. This shouldn't last long.

Phenomenal concepts as bare recognitional concepts: harder to debunk than you thought, …but still possible

Philosophical Studies 164 (3):807-827 (2013)
A popular defense of physicalist theories of consciousness against anti-physicalist arguments invokes the existence of ‘phenomenal concepts’. These are concepts that designate conscious experiences from a first person perspective, and hence differ from physicalistic concepts; but not in a way that precludes co-referentiality with them. On one version of this strategy phenomenal concepts are seen as (1) type demonstratives that have (2) no mode of presentation. However, 2 is possible without 1-call this the ‘bare recognitional concept’ view-and I will argue that this avoids certain recent criticisms while retaining the virtue of finessing the ‘mode of presentation’ problem for phenomenal concepts. But construing phenomenal concepts this way seems to not do justice to the phenomenology of conscious experience. In this paper I examine whether or not this impression can be borne out by a good argument. As it turns out, it is harder to do so than one might think. It can be done, but it involves somewhat more convoluted reasoning than one might have supposed necessary. Having shown that, I will end with a few brief remarks on what my argument means for attempts to preserve a physicalist account of consciousness
Keywords Phenomenal concepts  Type demonstrative concepts  Recognitional concepts  Type B physicalism  Theories of consciousness
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: 14,248
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
Katalin Balog (2009). Phenomenal Concepts. In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), Oxford Handbook in the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press 292--312.
Ned Block (1995). On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness. Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Austen Clark (2000). A Theory of Sentience. New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 25 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Diana I. Pérez (2011). Phenomenal Concepts, Color Experience, and Mary's Puzzle. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (3):113-133.
Katalin Balog (2009). Phenomenal Concepts. In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), Oxford Handbook in the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press 292--312.
Katalin Balog (2012). In Defense of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):1-23.
Tim Crane (2005). Papineau on Phenomenal Concepts. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):155-162.
Pär Sundström (2011). Phenomenal Concepts. Philosophy Compass 6 (4):267-281.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

62 ( #38,022 of 1,699,835 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

12 ( #53,539 of 1,699,835 )

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.