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Summary Inverted spectrum arguments seek to refute physicalism or functionalism about qualia by showing that, even when all the relevant physical (or functional or intentional or behavioural) facts are held constant, the facts about qualia can still vary, and hence that the phenomenal must be over and above the physical (or functional etc.). The argument trades on the widely, though not universally, accepted fact that at least one of our modes of sensation--usually taken to be colour sensation--has at least one axis of symmetry, such that our colour sensations could be inverted along that axis of symmetry while leaving all the relations between those colour sensations unaffected, and so (arguably) leaving unaffected all of our dispositions with respect to those sensations.
Key works The inverted spectrum argument is generally thought to originate with Locke & Nidditch 1979 (Book 2, Chap. XXXII). A seminal modern discussion is Shoemaker 1982, while Block 1990 influentially applies the inverted spectrum argument to intentionalism as well as functionalism. Two representative replies from the internationalist camp are Hilbert & Kalderon 2000 and Tye 2000Horgan 1984 and Putnam 1981 present inverted spectrum arguments against functionalism, while responses include Cole 1990 and Rey 1992.
Introductions Byrne 2004; Nida-Rümelin 1996Chalmers 1995Block 2007
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179 found
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  1. added 2018-12-25
    Qualia Qua Qualitons: Mental Qualities as Abstract Particulars.Hilan Bensusan & Eros Moreira De Carvalho - 2011 - Acta Analytica 26 (2):155-163.
    In this paper we advocate the thesis that qualia are tropes (or qualitons), and not (universal) properties. The main advantage of the thesis is that we can accept both the Wittgensteinian and Sellarsian assault on the given and the claim that only subjective and private states can do justice to the qualitative character of experience. We hint that if we take qualia to be tropes, we dissolve the problem of inverted qualia. We develop an account of sensory concept acquisition that (...)
  2. added 2018-12-15
    Tying the Knot: Why Representationalists Should Endorse the Sensorimotor Theory of Conscious Feel.David Silverman - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly (263):pqv097.
    The sensorimotor theory of perception and consciousness is frequently presented as a variety of anti-representationalist cognitive science, and there is thus a temptation to suppose that those who take representation as bedrock should reject the approach. This paper argues that the sensorimotor approach is compatible with representationalism, and moreover that representationalism about phenomenal qualities, such as that advocated by Tye, would be more complete and less vulnerable to criticism if it incorporated the sensorimotor account of conscious feel. The paper concludes (...)
  3. added 2018-11-29
    Mad Qualia.Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    This paper revisits some classic thought experiments in which experiences are detached from their characteristic causal roles, and explores what these thought experiments tell us about qualia epiphenomenalism, i.e. the view that qualia are epiphenomenal properties. It argues that qualia epiphenomenalism is true just in case it is (nomologically) possible for experiences of the same type to have entirely different causal powers. This is done with the help of new conceptual tools regarding the concept of an epiphenomenal property. One conclusion (...)
  4. added 2018-04-24
    A Temporal Knowledge Argument.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    There appears to be a temporal analogue to the Knowledge argument. If correct, it could be read as an argument that B-theorism is false: time is not completely described by McTaggart's B-series. We analyse the temporal knowledge argument in terms of Chalmers's 2-dimensional semantics. An adaptation of the most popular response to the Knowledge argument indicates that McTaggart's A-series and B-series have different modes of presentation.
  5. added 2018-02-18
    Instead of Qualia.Daniel C. Dennett - 1994 - In Antti Revonsuo & Matti Kamppinen (eds.), Consciousness in Philosophy and Cognitive Neuroscience. Lawrence Erlbaum. pp. 129-139.
    Philosophers have adopted various names for the things in the beholder that have been supposed to provide a safe home for the colors and the rest of the properties that have been banished from the "external" world by the triumphs of physics: "raw feels", "sensa", "phenomenal qualities" "intrinsic properties of conscious experiences" "the qualitative content of mental states" and, of course, " qualia," the term I will use. There are subtle differences in how these terms have been defined, but I'm (...)
  6. added 2018-02-17
    Physicalism, Qualia and Mental Concepts.Diana I. Perez - 2002 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 17 (2):359-379.
    In this paper I shall carefully examine some recent arguments for dualism. These arguments presuppose a strong version of physicalism that I consider inappropriate. I shall try to show that, if we reformulate the thesis of physicalism according to Kim's view of physicalism, there is a third option, a version of type physicalism, where physicalism and quaiia could be conciliated. In order to sketch this option, I shall consider the main argument against type physicalism: the explanatory gap argument, and two (...)
  7. added 2018-02-17
    Beyond Intrinsicness and Dazzling Blacks.Erik Myin - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):964-965.
    Palmer's target article is surely one of the most scientifically detailed and knowledgeable treatments of spectrum inversion ever. Unfortunately, it is built on a very shaky philosophical foundation, the notion of the "intrinsic". In the article's ontology, there are two kinds of properties of mental states, intrinsic properties and relational properties. The whole point of the article is that these aspects of experience are mutually exclusive: the intrinsic is nonrelational and the relational is nonintrinsic.
  8. added 2018-02-17
    Functionalism, Qualia and Intentionality.Paul M. Churchland & Patricia Smith Churchland - 1981 - Philosophical Topics 12 (1):121-145.
  9. added 2018-02-16
    Locke and the Nature of Ideas.Keith Allen - 2010 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 92 (3):236-255.
    What, according to Locke, are ideas? I argue that Locke does not give an account of the nature of ideas. In the Essay, the question is simply set to one side, as recommended by the “Historical, plain Method” that Locke employs. This is exemplified by his characterization of ‘ideas’ in E I.i.8, and the discussion of the inverted spectrum hypothesis in E II.xxxii. In this respect, Locke's attitude towards the nature of ideas in the Essay is reminiscent of Boyle's diffident (...)
  10. added 2018-02-16
    Subjectivity is No Barrier.Alex Byrne - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):949-950.
    Palmer's subjectivity barrier seems to be erected on a popular but highly suspect conception of visual experience, and his color room argument is invalid.
  11. added 2018-02-16
    Finding a Place for Experience in the Physical-Relational Structure of the Brain.Gerard O'Brien & Jonathan Opie - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):966-967.
    In restricting his analysis to the causal relations of functionalism, on the one hand, and the neurophysiological realizers of biology, on the other, Palmer has overlooked an alternative conception of the relationship between color experience and the brain - one that liberalises the relation between mental phenomena and their physical implementation, without generating functionalism.
  12. added 2017-09-07
    Qualia Change and Colour Science.Lieven Decock & Igor Douven - 2013 - In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 417--428.
  13. added 2017-02-14
    State-Trace Analysis of the Face-Inversion Effect.Melissa Prince & Andrew Heathcote - 2009 - In N. A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn (eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.
  14. added 2017-02-14
    Inversion's Histories/History's Inversions: Novelizing Fin-de-Siècle Homosexuality.Vernon A. Rosario - 1997 - In Science and Homosexualities. Routledge. pp. 89--107.
  15. added 2017-02-13
    What's Lost in Inverted Faces?Gillian Rhodes, Susan Brake & Anthony P. Atkinson - 1993 - Cognition 47 (1):25-57.
  16. added 2017-02-13
    Intelligence, Adaptation, and Inverted Selection.Marc N. Richelle - 1984 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 7 (2):299.
  17. added 2017-02-07
    The Dialectic of the Inverted World and the Meaning of Aufhbung.Klaus Brinkmann - 2010 - In Nektarios Limnatis (ed.), The Dimensions of Hegel's Dialectic. Continuum.
  18. added 2017-02-02
    Jack and Jill Have Shifted Spectra.Ned Block - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):946-947.
    There is reason to believe that people of different gender, race or age differ in spectra that are shifted relative to one another. Shifted spectra are not as dramatic as inverted spectra, but they can be used to make some of the same philosophical points.
  19. added 2017-02-01
    Pseudonormal Vision.Martine Nida -Rümelin - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 82 (2):145-157.
  20. added 2017-01-30
    The Engelsian Inversion.Norman Levine - 1983 - Studies in Soviet Thought 25 (4):307-321.
  21. added 2017-01-29
    The Functional Mapping Hypothesis.Michael Pauen - 2017 - Topoi 36 (1):107-118.
  22. added 2017-01-27
    Do Pseudonormal Persons Have Inverted Qualia? Scientific Hypotheses and Philosophical Interpretations.Uwe Meyer - forthcoming - Facta Philosophica.
  23. added 2017-01-27
    From Inverted Spectra to Colorless Qualia: A Wittgensteinian Critique.William H. Brenner - 2015 - Philosophical Investigations 38 (4):360-381.
    This is terribly hard, Thouless, I'm sorry. I have thought over all this for years. … It is now as if we had ploughed furrows in different parts of a field. There is a lot left to do. Judging from their writings, most contemporary analytic philosophers have not been persuaded that “the inverted spectrum problem” is – as Wittgenstein maintained – really a conceptual puzzle calling for dissolution, rather than a straight problem calling for a solution. In this paper, I (...)
  24. added 2017-01-27
    Supervenience, Physicalist Reduction and Inverted Qualia.Jonas Dagys - 2007 - Problemos 71:108-115.
    Funkcinës psichiniø savybiø analizës atveriama jø materialiojo ákûnijimo ávairovës galimybë verèia materialistiná monizmà sàmonës filosofijoje formuluoti ne psichiniø ir fiziniø savybiø tapatumo, bet pirmøjø pareities nuo antrøjø tezæ. Pareities sàvoka sàmonës filosofijoje iðreiðkia minimalius reikalavimus fizikalistinëms teorijoms – paneigus pareities fizikalizmà bûtø paneigtos ir stipresnës fizikalizmoversijos. Straipsnyje tyrinëjama fizikalizmo kritika paremta vadinamuoju kokybiø perkeitimo galimybës argumentu. Parodoma, kad, viena vertus, toks argumentas negali bûti atremtas nuorodomis áempirinius duomenis, nes svarstoma hipotetinë situacija numano jos empiriná nestebimumà; kita vertus, jei svarstoma situacija (...)
  25. added 2017-01-26
    The Spectrum of Possible Answers.Roman Godlewski - 2010 - Filozofia Nauki 18 (1):67.
  26. added 2017-01-26
    The Spectrum From Truth to Power.D. K. Price - 2005 - In Nico Stehr & Reiner Grundmann (eds.), Knowledge: Critical Concepts. Routledge. pp. 4--103.
  27. added 2017-01-25
    Holophrasis and the Protolanguage Spectrum.Michael A. Arbib - 2008 - Interaction Studies 9 (1):154-168.
  28. added 2017-01-25
    Inverse Kinematic Problem: Solutions by Pseudoinversion, Inversion and No-Inversion.Simon R. Goodman - 1995 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (4):756.
  29. added 2017-01-22
    The Inverted World.Hans-Georg Gadamer & John F. Donovan - 1975 - Review of Metaphysics 28 (3):401 - 422.
  30. added 2017-01-22
    Hegel's "Inverted World".Joseph C. Flay - 1970 - Review of Metaphysics 23 (4):662 - 678.
  31. added 2017-01-19
    Inversions Spectral and Bright: Comments on Melinda Campbell.Austen Clark - manuscript
    Spectrum inversion is a thought experiment, and I would wager that there is no better diagnostic test to the disciplinary affiliation of a randomly selected member of the audience than your reaction to a thought experiment. It is a litmus test. If you find that you are paying close attention, subvocalizing objections, and that your heart-rate and metabolism go up, you have turned pink: you are a philosopher. If on the other hand the thought experiment leaves you cold, and you (...)
  32. added 2017-01-19
    Inversion.Karl Schmidt - 1912 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 9 (9):232-234.
  33. added 2017-01-18
    Psi and the Spectrum of Consciousness.D. G. Richards - 1996 - Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 90:251-67.
  34. added 2017-01-18
    The Engelsian Inversion.Norman Levine - 1983 - Studies in East European Thought 25 (4):307-321.
  35. added 2017-01-18
    The Spectrum of Knowledge.Raphael Demos - 1947 - Philosophical Review 56 (3):237-257.
  36. added 2017-01-18
    A Note on Symbolic Inversion.George G. Leckie - 1943 - Philosophical Review 52 (3):289-298.
  37. added 2017-01-18
    Something More About Inversion: A Rejoinder.L. E. Hicks - 1912 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 9 (19):520-523.
  38. added 2017-01-17
    Subjectivity, Multiple Drafts and the Inconceivability of Zombies and the Inverted Spectrum in This World.Elizabeth Schier - forthcoming - Topoi:1-9.
    Proponents of the hard problem of consciousness argue that the zombie and inverted spectrum thought experiments demonstrate that consciousness cannot be physical. They present scenarios designed to demonstrate that it is conceivable that a physical replica of someone can have radically different or no conscious experiences, that such an experience-less replica is possible and therefore that materialism is false. I will argue that once one understands the limitations that the physics of this world puts on cognitive systems, zombies and the (...)
  39. added 2017-01-17
    Interpretation of Fractures and Joint Inversion Using Multicomponent Seismic Data — Marcellus Shale Example.Shukun Yuan, Michael V. DeAngelo & Bob A. Hardage - 2014 - Interpretation: SEG 2 (2):SE55-SE62.
  40. added 2017-01-16
    Motivating Non-Canonicality in Construction Grammar: The Case of Locative Inversion.Gert Webelhuth - 2011 - Cognitive Linguistics 22 (1).
  41. added 2017-01-16
    Another Inverted Palimpsest.Eva M. Sanford - 1928 - Speculum 3 (3):398-398.
  42. added 2017-01-16
    An Inverted Palimpsest.Lynn Thorndike - 1928 - Speculum 3 (1):105-105.
  43. added 2017-01-15
    Inverted Earth Revisited.Huiming Ren - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (5):1093-1107.
    By considering another version of the Inverted Earth thought experiment in which the protagonist is informed that she is implanted with inverting lenses behind her eyes, I argue that the thought experiment doesn’t successfully pose a challenge to representationalism because after many years, the protagonist’s visual experience of the sky of Inverted Earth would simply represent it as blue.
  44. added 2017-01-15
    Holophrasis and the Protolanguage Spectrum.Michael A. Arbib - 2008 - Interaction Studiesinteraction Studies Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems 9 (1):154-168.
  45. added 2017-01-15
    Inverted Earth, Swampman, and Representationism.Michael Tye - 1998 - Noûs 32 (S12):459-477.
  46. added 2017-01-14
    Constrained Inversions of Sensations.Erik Myin - 2001 - Philosophica 68.
    Inverted sensation arguments such as the inverted spectrum thought experiment are often criticized for relying on an unconstrained notion of 'qualia'. In reply to this criticism, 'qualia-free' arguments for inversion have been proposed, in which only physical changes happen: inversions in the world, such as the replacement of surface colors by their complements, and a rewiring of peripheral input cables to more central areas in the nervous system. I show why such constrained inversion arguments won't work. The first problem is (...)
  47. added 2016-12-12
    The First-Person Perspective and Other Essays.Sydney Shoemaker - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    Sydney Shoemaker is one of the most influential philosophers currently writing on philosophy of mind and metaphysics. The essays in this collection deal with the way in which we know our own minds, and with the nature of those mental states of which we have our most direct conscious awareness. Professor Shoemaker opposes the 'inner sense' conception of introspective self-knowledge. He defends the view that perceptual and sensory states have non-representational features - 'qualia' - that determine what it is like (...)
  48. added 2016-12-08
    The Case for Qualia.Edmond L. Wright (ed.) - 2008 - MIT Press.
  49. added 2016-12-08
    Human Zombies Are Metaphysically Impossible.William Robert Webster - 2006 - Synthese 151 (2):297-310.
    Chalmers has argued for a form of property dualism on the basis of the concept of a zombie , and the concept of the inverted spectrum. He asserts that these concepts show that the facts about consciousness, such as experience or qualia, are really further facts about our world, over and above the physical facts. He claims that they are the hard part of the mind-body issue. He also claims that consciousness is a fundamental feature of the world like mass, (...)
  50. added 2016-12-08
    Pseudonormal Vision: An Actual Case of Qualia Inversion?Martine Nida-Rümelin - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 82 (2):145 - 157.
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