Representationalism and Husserlian Phenomenology

Husserl Studies 27 (3):197-215 (2011)
Abstract
According to contemporary representationalism, phenomenal qualia—of specifically sensory experiences—supervene on representational content. Most arguments for representationalism share a common, phenomenological premise: the so-called “transparency thesis.” According to the transparency thesis, it is difficult—if not impossible—to distinguish the quality or character of experiencing an object from the perceived properties of that object. In this paper, I show that Husserl would react negatively to the transparency thesis; and, consequently, that Husserl would be opposed to at least two versions of contemporary representationalism. First, I show that Husserl would be opposed to strong representationalism, since he believes the cognitive content of a perceptual episode can vary despite constancy of sensory qualia. Second, I then show that Husserl would be opposed to weak representationalism, since he believes that sensory qualia—specifically, the sort that he calls “kinesthetic sensations”—can vary despite constancy in representational content
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    References found in this work BETA
    Walter Hopp (2008). Husserl on Sensation, Perception, and Interpretation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (2):pp. 219-245.
    Amy Kind (2007). Restrictions on Representationalism. Philosophical Studies 134 (3):405-427.
    Amy Kind (2003). What's so Transparent About Transparency? Philosophical Studies 115 (3):225-244.

    View all 9 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Kenneth Williford (2013). Husserl's Hyletic Data and Phenomenal Consciousness. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (3):501-519.
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