Hardin argues that Reflectance Physicalism about color fails because it cannot accommodate color structure. David Lewis and others have replied that the Reflectance Physicalist may explain color structure in terms of color experience. I argue that this reply fails.
It has been said that variation in normal color vision creates a problem for a certain theories of color. But there has been some controversy concerning the nature of the problem; indeed, it has been questioned whether there is even a problem at all. Here I do not use variation in normal color vision to develop a problem for any theory of color. Instead I use variation in normal color vision, together with certain natural assumptions, to develop a problem for (...) reductive theories of our consciousness of colors. Elsewhere I have argued that hypothetical cases of biological variation in color vision create a problem for reductive theories of our consciousness of color. In the present paper, I argue that actual cases of standard variation create a quite different problem for such theories. (shrink)
I provide an argument from the best explanation for the claim that experiences have contents. In particular, I argue that a common factor account of experience in terms of content provides the best explanation of the fact that both veridical and non-veridical experience can ground the capacity for thought, of indeterminate and impossible experiences, and of other features of experience.
I offer a formulation of the claim that experiences have contents.I also suggest a new method for determining what the contents of our experiences are, which can be applied to the issue of whether high-level properties such as being a tomato enter into the content of experience.
I am going to develop an argument against Physicalism concerning qualitative mental properties. Unlike most arguments against Physicalism, it is not based on the usual _a priori_ considerations, such as what Mary learns when she comes out of her black and white room or the apparent conceivability of Zombies. Rather, it is based on two broadly _a posteriori_ premises about the structure of experience and its physical basis.
In the mid-nineties, Fred Dretske, William Lycan and Michael Tye published books defending an ambitious new reductive program. The program came in two stages. The first was to defend Intentionalism. The second was to reduce the secondary qualities to external physical properties and then to explain sensory representation in terms of tracking under optimal conditions or biological function. The old reductive program was internalist: the idea used to be that we could reduce experiences to brain states. The new reductive program (...) is externalist. (shrink)
I am going to develop an argument against Physicalism concerning qualitative mental properties. Unlike most arguments against Physicalism, it is not based on the usual a priori considerations, such as what Mary learns when she comes out of her black and white room or the apparent conceivability of Zombies. Rather, it is based on two broadly a posteriori premises about the structure of experience and its physical basis.
I develop several new arguments against claims about "cognitive phenomenology" and its alleged role in grounding thought content. My arguments concern "absent cognitive qualia cases" (independently discussed by Horgan here), "altered cognitive qualia cases", and "disembodied cognitive qualia cases". However, at the end, I sketch a positive theory of the role of phenomenology in grounding content, drawing on David Lewis's work on intentionality. I suggest that within Lewis's theory the subject's total evidence (not natuarlness) plays the central role in fixing (...) mental content and ruling out deviant interpretations (such as that described by Robbie Williams). However I point out a huge unnoticed problem, the problem of evidence: Lewis really has no theory of sensory content and hence no theory of what fixes evidence. I suggest a way of plugging this hole in Lewis's theory. On the resulting theory, which I call "phenomenal functionalism", there is a sense in which sensory phenomenology is the source of all determinate intentionality. Phenomenal functionalism has similarities to the theories of Chalmers and Schwitzgebel. (shrink)
Phenomenal intentionality is irreducible. Empirical investigation shows it is internally-dependent. So our usual externalist (causal, etc.) theories do not apply here. Internalist views of phenomenal intentionality (e. g. interpretationism) also fail. The resulting primitivist view avoids Papineau's worry that terms for consciousness are highly indeterminate: since conscious properties are extremely natural (despite having unnatural supervenience bases) they are 'reference magnets'.
Using empirical research on pain, sound and taste, I argue against the combination of intentionalism about consciousness and a broadly ‘tracking’ psychosemantics of the kind defended by Fodor, Dretske, Hill, Neander, Stalnaker, Tye and others. Then I develop problems with Kriegel and Prinz's attempt to combine a Dretskean psychosemantics with the view that sensible properties are Shoemakerian response-dependent properties. Finally, I develop in detail my own 'primitivist' view of sensory intentionality.
I address three interrelated issues concerning the contents of experiences. First, I address the preliminary issue of what it means to say that experiences have contents. Then I address the issue of why we should believe that experiences have contents. Finally, I address the issue of what the contents of experiences are.
I develop a problem for the Fregean Reference Shift analysis of that-clause reference. The problem is discussed by Stephen Schiffer in his recent book The Things We Mean (2003). Either the defender of the Fregean Reference Shift analysis must count certain counterintuitive inferences as valid, or else he must reject a plausible Exportation rule. I consider several responses. I find that the best response relies on a Kaplan-inspired analysis of quantified belief reports. But I argue that this response faces some (...) serious problems. (shrink)
I address a second issue that arises once we accept intentionalism: can intentionalists accept the claim of Horgan and Tienson (among others) that phenomenology is in some sense prior to intentionality? And should they?
H. H. Price (1932) held that experience is essentially presentational. According to Price, when one has an experience of a tomato, nothing can be more certain than that there is something of which one is aware. Price claimed that the same applies to hallucination. In general, whenever one has a visual experience, there is something of which one is aware, according to Price. Call this thesis Item-Awareness.
Philosophical theories of color divide over two issues. First, there is the issue of Reductionism versus Primitivism. _Reductionism_ holds that colors are identical with physical properties, dispositional properties, or other properties specifiable in non-chromatic terms.
Physicalism about colour is the thesis that colours are identical with response-independent, physical properties of objects. I endorse the Argument from Structure against Physicalism about colour. The argument states that Physicalism cannot accommodate certain obvious facts about colour structure: for instance, that red is a unitary colour while purple is a binary colour, and that blue resembles purple more than green. I provide a detailed formulation of the argument. According to the most popular response to the argument, the Physicalist can (...) accommodate colour structure by explaining it in terms of colour experience. I argue that this response fails. Along the way, I examine other interesting issues in the philosophy of colour and colour perception, for instance the relational structure of colour experience and the description theory of how colour names refer. (shrink)
I argue that Byrne and Hilbert have not answered Hardin’s objection to physicalism about color concerning the unitary-binary structure of the colors for two reasons. First, their account of unitary-binary structure seems unsatisfactory. Second, _pace_ Byrne and Hilbert, there are no physicalistically acceptable candidates to be the hue- magnitudes. I conclude with a question about the justification of physicalism about color.