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Profile: Matthew Fulkerson (University of California, San Diego)
  1. Murat Aydede & Matthew Fulkerson (forthcoming). Reasons and Theories of Sensory Affect. In David Bain, Michael Brady & Jennifer Corns (eds.), The Nature of Pain.
    [Penultimate draft] Some sensory experiences are pleasant, some unpleasant. This is a truism. But understanding what makes these experiences pleasant and unpleasant is not an easy job. Various difficulties and puzzles arise as soon as we start theorizing. There are various philosophical theories on offer that seem to give different accounts for the positive or negative affective valences of sensory experiences. In this paper, we will look at the current state of art in the philosophy of mind, present the main (...)
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  2. Murat Aydede & Matthew Fulkerson (2014). Affect: Representationalists' Headache. Philosophical Studies 170 (2):175-198.
    Representationalism is the view that the phenomenal character of experiences is identical to their representational content of a certain sort. This view requires a strong transparency condition on phenomenally conscious experiences. We argue that affective qualities such as experienced pleasantness or unpleasantness are counter-examples to the transparency thesis and thus to the sort of representationalism that implies it.
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  3. Jonathan Cohen & Matthew Fulkerson (2014). Affect, Rationalization, and Motivation. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):103-118.
    Recently, a number of writers have presented an argument to the effect that leading causal theories make available accounts of affect’s motivational role, but at the cost of failing to understand affect’s rationalizing role. Moreover, these writers have gone on to argue that these considerations support the adoption of an alternative (“evaluationist”) conception of pleasure and pain that, in their view, successfully explains both the motivational and rationalizing roles of affective experience. We believe that this argument from rationalization is ineffective (...)
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  4. Matthew Fulkerson (2014). The First Sense: A Philosophical Study of Human Touch. MIT Press.
    It is through touch that we are able to interact directly with the world; it is our primary conduit of both pleasure and pain. Touch may be our most immediate and powerful sense—“the first sense" because of the central role it plays in experience. In this book, Matthew Fulkerson proposes that human touch, despite its functional diversity, is a single, unified sensory modality. Fulkerson offers a philosophical account of touch, reflecting the interests, methods, and approach that define contemporary philosophy; but (...)
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  5. Matthew Fulkerson (2012). Touch Without Touching. Philosophers' Imprint 12 (5).
    In this paper, I argue that in touch, as in vision and audition, we can and often do perceive objects and properties even when we are not in direct or even apparent bodily contact with them. Unlike those senses, however, touch experiences require a special kind of mutually interactive connection between our sensory surfaces and the objects of our experience. I call this constraint the Connection Principle. This view has implications for the proper understanding of touch, and perceptual reference generally. (...)
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  6. Matthew Fulkerson (2011). The Unity of Haptic Touch. Philosophical Psychology 24 (4):493 - 516.
    Haptic touch is an inherently active and exploratory form of perception, involving both coordinated movements and an array of distinct sensory receptors in the skin. For this reason, some have claimed that haptic touch is not a single sense, but rather a multisensory collection of distinct sensory systems. Though this claim is often made, it relies on what I regard as a confused conception of multisensory interaction. In its place, I develop a nuanced hierarchy of multisensory involvement. According to this (...)
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