Sensations and brain processes

Philosophical Review 68 (April):141-56 (1959)
Abstract
SUPPOSE that I report that I have at this moment a roundish, blurry-edged after-image which is yellowish towards its edge and is orange towards its centre. What is it that I am reporting?l One answer to this question might be that I am not reporting anything, that when I say that it looks to me as though there is a roundish yellowy orange patch of light On the wall I am expressing some sort of temptation, the temptation to say that there is a roundish yellowy orange patch on the wall (though I may know that there is not such a patch on the wall). This is perhaps Wittgenstein's view in the Philosophical Investigations (see paragraphs 367, 370). Similarly, when I "report" a pain, I am not really reporting anything (or, if you like, I am reporting in a queer sense of "reporting"), but am doing a sophisticated sort of wince. (See paragraph 244: "The verbal expression of pain replaces crying and docs not describe it." Nor docs it describe anything else?)2 I prefer most of the time to discuss an afterimage rather than a pain, because the word "pain" brings in something which is irrelevant to my purpose: the notion of "distress." I think that "he is in pain" entails "he is in distress," that is, that he is in a certain agitation-condition.3 Similarly, to say "I am in pain" may be to do more than "replace pain behavior": it may be partly to report something, though this something is quite nonmysterious, being an agitation-condition, and so susceptible of behavioristic analysis. The suggestion I wish if possible to avoid is a different one, namely that "I am in pain" is a genuine report, and that what it reports is an irreducibly psychical something. And similarly the suggestion I wish to resist is also that to say "I have a yellowish orange after-image" is to report something irreducibly psychical
Keywords Brain  Consciousness  Process  Sensation
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William Lycan (2009). Giving Dualism its Due. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):551-563.
Christopher Boorse (1976). What a Theory of Mental Health Should Be. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 6 (1):61–84.
Michael Huemer (2009). When is Parsimony a Virtue? Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):216-236.
Pär Sundström (2011). Phenomenal Concepts. Philosophy Compass 6 (4):267-281.

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