David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophia 37 (1):31-46 (2009)
According to some representationalists (M. Tye, Ten problems of consciousness, MIT Press, Massachusetts, USA, 1995; W.G. Lycan, Consciousness and experience, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 1996; F. Dretske, Naturalising the mind, MIT Press, Massachusetts, USA 1995), qualia are identical to external environmental states or features. When one perceives a red rose for instance, one is visually representing the actual redness of the rose. The represented redness of the rose is the actual redness of the rose itself. Thus redness is not a property of one’s experience but an externally constituted property of the perceived physical object. In this sense, qualia are out there, in the external world. Here, I argue that the main representationalist arguments to this effect, if successful, establish no more than a symmetrical supervenience relation between representational content and qualia, and that a supervenience relation alone (albeit symmetrical) doesn’t suffice for identity. This supervenience thesis between qualia and representational content leaves open the question as to the essential nature of qualia.
|Keywords||Representationalism Qualia Experience Symmetrical supervenience Identity Argument from transparency|
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References found in this work BETA
John Searle (1983). Intentionality. Oxford University Press.
Thomas Nagel (1974). What is It Like to Be a Bat? Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Jaegwon Kim (1998). Mind in a Physical World: An Essay on the Mind-Body Problem and Mental Causation. MIT Press.
David J. Chalmers (1996). The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory. Oxford University Press.
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