Representationalism and the phenomenology of mental imagery

Synthese 160 (3):203--213 (2008)
This paper sketches a phenomenological analysis of visual mental imagery and uses it to criticize representationalism and the internalist-versus-externalist framework for understanding consciousness. Contrary to internalist views of mental imagery imagery experience is not the experience of a phenomenal mental picture inspected by the mind’s eye, but rather the mental simulation of perceptual experience. Furthermore, there are experiential differences in perceiving and imagining that are not differences in the properties represented by these experiences. Therefore, externalist representationalism, which maintains that the properties of experience are the external properties represented by experience, is an inadequate account of conscious experience
Keywords Mental imagery  Consciousness  Representation
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