A higher-order, dispositional theory of qualia
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 15 (2):29-41 (2007)
Higher-order theories of consciousness, such as those of Armstrong, Rosenthal and Lycan, typically distinguish sharply between consciousness and phenomenal character, or qualia. The higher-order states posited by these theories are intended only as explanations of consciousness, and not of qualia. In this paper I argue that the positing of higher-order perceptions may help to explain qualia. If we are realists about qualia, conceived as those intrinsic properties of our experience of which we are introspectibly aware, then higher-order perception might have an explanatory role as the means by which we are aware of these properties. This would also allow us to treat qualia as the inner appearances resulting from inner perceptions, and therefore to treat them as intentional objects.
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