Introduction: Three key principles -- Sense datum theories -- Adverbial theories -- Belief acquisition theories -- Intentional theories -- Disjunctive theories -- Perception and causation -- Perception and the sciences of the mind -- Perception and other sense modalities.
Disjunctivism, as a theory of visual experience, claims that the mental states involved in a “good case” experience of veridical perception and a “bad case” experience of hallucination differ, even in those cases in which the two experiences are indistinguishable for their subject. Consider the veridical perception of a bar stool and an indistinguishable hallucination; both of these experiences might be classed together as experiences (as) of a bar stool or experiences of seeming to see a bar stool. This might (...) lead us to think that the experiences we undergo in the two cases must be of the same kind, the difference being that the former, but not the latter, is connected to the world in the right kind of way. Such a conjecture has been called a “highest common factor” or “common kind” assumption. At heart, disjunctivism consists in the rejection of this assumption. According the disjunctivist, veridical experiences and hallucinations do not share a common component. There are a host of interesting questions surrounding disjunctivism including: What is involved in the claims that good case and bad case experiences differ? Why might one might want to be a disjunctivist? What kinds of claims can the disjunctivist make about hallucination and illusion? These questions, and problems for the thesis, will be discussed as we proceed. (shrink)
Recent attempts to show that functional processing entails the presence of phenomenal consciousness have failed to deliver the kind of answers to the “problems of consciousness” that anti-materialists insist the functionalist must provide. I will illustrate this by focusing on the claims that there is a special “Hard Problem” of consciousness and an “explanatory gap” between functional and phenomenal facts. I then argue that if we supplement the functionalist stories with a relationalist conception of phenomenal properties, we can begin to (...) see the shape of a naturalistic theory of phenomenal consciousness that will provide intuitively compelling responses to these problems. (shrink)
In the eyes of some of its critics, disjunctivism fails to support adequately the key claim that a particular hallucination might be indistinguishable from a certain kind of veridical perception despite the two states having nothing other than this in common. Scott Sturgeon, for example, has complained that disjunctivism ‘‘offers no positive story about hallucination at all’’ (2000: 11) and therefore ‘‘simply takes [indistinguishability] for granted’’ (2000: 12). So according to Sturgeon, what the disjunctivist needs to provide is a plausible (...) explanation of just how two mental states which have no common component might be indistinguishable for their subject and this in turn will require the telling of a positive story about hallucination. This is the goal of the present essay. (shrink)
Under the general heading of what we might loosely call emotional states, a familiar distinction can be drawn between emotions (strictly so-called) and moods. In order to judge under which of these headings a subject’s emotional episode falls, we advance a question of the form: What is the subject’s emotion of or about? In some cases (for example fear, sadness, and anger) the provision of an answer is straightforward: the subject is afraid of the loose tiger, or sad about England’s (...) poor performance in the World Cup, or angry with her errant child. Although the ways we find natural to talk in such situations can alter (afraid of, sad about, angry with, and so on), in each case the emotion has what Ronald de Sousa, following Wittgenstein, calls a target—“an actual particular to which that emotion relates.” (de Sousa, 1987, p.116). (shrink)
During the 'What is Realism?' symposium at the 2001 Joint Session, Professor Ayers raised a number of objections to the disjunctive theory of perception. However in his reply, Professor Snowdon protested that Ayers had failed to adequately engage with the disjunctivist's position. This apparent lack of engagement suggests that the terms of this debate are not as clear as they might be. In the light of this, the current paper offers a way in which we might shed light on the (...) underlying nature of the dispute between disjunctivists and non-disjunctivists, and following this, goes on to recommend ways in which the debate might then be taken forward. (shrink)
Whilst it may seem strange to ask to whom "I" refers, we show that there are occasions when it is not always obvious. In demonstrating this we challenge Kaplan's assumption that the utterer, agent and referent of "I" are always the same person. We begin by presenting what we regard to be the received view about indexical reference popularized by David Kaplan in his influential 1972 "Demonstratives" before going on, in section 2, to discuss Sidelle's answering machine paradox which may (...) be thought to threaten this view, and his deferred utterance method of resolving this puzzle. In section 3 we introduce a novel version of the answering machine paradox which suggests that, in certain cases, Kaplan's identification of utterer, agent and referent of "I" breaks down. In the fourth section we go on to consider a recent revision of Kaplan's picture by Predelli which appeals to the intentions of the utterer, before arguing that this picture is committed to unacceptable consequences and, therefore, should be avoided if possible. Finally, in section 5, we present a new revision of Kaplan's account which retains much of the spirit of his original proposal whilst offering a intuitively acceptable way to explain all of the apparently problematic data. In doing so, we also show how this picture is able to explain the scenario which motivated Predelli's account without appealing to speaker intentions. (shrink)