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David J. Chalmers (2004). The Representational Character of Experience.

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  1.  71
    Anomalous Panpsychism: A New Solution to the Mind-Body Problem.David Bourget - forthcoming - In William Seager (ed.), The Handbook of Panpsychism. Routledge.
    We can classify theories of consciousness along two dimensions. First, a theory might be physicalist or dualist. Second, a theory might endorse any of these three views regarding causal relations between phenomenal properties (properties that characterize states of our consciousness) and physical properties: nomism (the two kinds of property interact through deterministic laws), acausalism (they do not causally interact), and anomalism (they interact but not through deterministic laws). In this paper, I explore anomalous dualism, a combination of views that has (...)
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  2.  56
    The Rational Role of Experience.David Bourget - forthcoming - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-27.
    If there is content that we reason on, cognitive content, it is in the head and accessible to reasoning mechanisms. This paper discusses the phenomenal theory of cognitive content, according to which cognitive contents are the contents of phenomenal consciousness. I begin by distinguishing cognitive content from the closely associated notion of narrow content. I then argue, drawing on prior work, that the phenomenal theory can plausibly account for the cognitive contents of many relatively simple mental states. My main focus (...)
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  3.  61
    Why Are Some Phenomenal Experiences 'Vivid' and Others 'Faint'? Representationalism, Imagery, and Cognitive Phenomenology.David Bourget - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (4):673-687.
    One central brand of representationalism claims that the specific phenomenal character of an experience is fully determined by its content. A challenge for this view is that cognitive and perceptual experiences sometimes seem to have the same representational content while differing in phenomenal character. In particular, it might seem that one can have faint imagery experiences or conscious thoughts with the same contents as vivid perceptual experiences. This paper argues that such cases never arise, and that they are probably metaphysically (...)
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  4. Perception Without Representation? On Travis’s Argument Against the Representational View of Perception.Berit Brogaard - 2017 - Topoi 36 (2):273-286.
    In this paper I begin by considering Travis’s main argument against a representational view of experience. I argue that the argument succeeds in showing that representation is not essential to experience. However, I argue that it does not succeed in showing that representation is not an essential component of experience enjoyed by creatures like us. I then provide a new argument for thinking that the perceptual experience of earthly creatures is representational. The view that ensues is compatible with a certain (...)
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  5.  36
    Functions and Mental Representation: The Theoretical Role of Representations and its Real Nature.Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (2):317-336.
    Representations are not only used in our folk-psychological explanations of behaviour, but are also fruitfully postulated, for example, in cognitive science. The mainstream view in cognitive science maintains that our mind is a representational system. This popular view requires an understanding of the nature of the entities they are postulating. Teleosemantic theories face this challenge, unpacking the normativity in the relation of representation by appealing to the teleological function of the representing state. It has been argued that, if intentionality is (...)
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  6. Frege's Puzzle for Perception.Boyd Millar - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):368-392.
    According to an influential variety of the representational view of perceptual experience—the singular content view—the contents of perceptual experiences include singular propositions partly composed of the particular physical object a given experience is about or of. The singular content view faces well-known difficulties accommodating hallucinations; I maintain that there is also an analogue of Frege's puzzle that poses a significant problem for this view. In fact, I believe that this puzzle presents difficulties for the theory that are unique to perception (...)
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  7. Why Do We Need Perceptual Content?Ayoob Shahmoradi - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (5):776-788.
    Most representationalists argue that perceptual experience has to be representational because phenomenal looks are, by themselves, representational. Charles Travis argues that looks cannot represent. I argue that perceptual experience has to be representational due to the way the visual system works.
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  8. Perception and the External World.Declan Smithies - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1119-1145.
    In this paper, I argue that perception justifies belief about the external world in virtue of its phenomenal character together with its relations to the external world. But I argue that perceptual relations to the external world impact on the justifying role of perception only by virtue of their impact on its representational content. Epistemic level-bridging principles provide a principled rationale for avoiding more radically externalist theories of perceptual justification.
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  9.  2
    Why Frege Cases Do Involve Cognitive Phenomenology but Only Indirectly.Alberto Voltolini - 2016 - Philosophical Explorations 19 (2):205-221.
    In this paper, I want to hold, first, that a treatment of Frege cases in terms of a difference in cognitive phenomenology of the involved experiential mental states is not viable. Second, I will put forward another treatment of such cases that appeals to a difference in intentional objects metaphysically conceived not as exotica, but as schematic objects, that is, as objects that have no metaphysical nature qua objects of thought. This allows their nature to be settled independently of their (...)
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  10. Representationalism, Perceptual Distortion and the Limits of Phenomenal Concepts.David Bourget - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):16-36.
    This paper replies to objections from perceptual distortion against the representationalist thesis that the phenomenal characters of experiences supervene on their intentional contents. It has been argued that some pairs of distorted and undistorted experiences share contents without sharing phenomenal characters, which is incompatible with the supervenience thesis. In reply, I suggest that such cases are not counterexamples to the representationalist thesis because the contents of distorted experiences are always impoverished in some way compared to those of normal experiences. This (...)
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  11.  74
    Type 2 Blindsight and the Nature of Visual Experience.Berit Brogaard - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 32:92-103.
  12. Representationalism and the Determinacy of Visual Content.Ben Bronner - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (2):227-239.
    DETERMINACY is the claim that covert shifts in visual attention sometimes affect the determinacy of visual content (capital letters will distinguish the claim from the familiar word, 'determinacy'). Representationalism is the claim that visual phenomenology supervenes on visual representational content. Both claims are popular among contemporary philosophers of mind, and DETERMINACY has been employed in defense of representationalism. I claim that existing arguments in favor of DETERMINACY are inconclusive. As a result, DETERMINACY-based arguments in support of representationalism are not strong (...)
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  13.  55
    The Fall From Eden: Why Libertarianism Isn't Justified By Experience.Oisín Deery - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):319-334.
    Libertarians claim that our experience of free choice is indeterministic. They think that, when we choose, our choice feels open in a way that would require indeterminism for the experience to be accurate. This claim then functions as a step in an argument in favour of libertarianism, the view that freedom requires indeterminism and we are free. Since, all else being equal, we should take experience at face value, libertarians argue, we should endorse libertarianism. Compatibilists, who think that freedom is (...)
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  14.  23
    Sensuous Experience, Phenomenal Presence, and Perceptual Availability.Christopher Frey - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (2):237-254.
    I argue that an experience’s sensuous elements play an ineliminable role in our being intentionally directed upon an entity through perception. More specifically, I argue that whenever we appreciate a sensuous element in experience, we appreciate an intrinsic and irreducibly phenomenal aspect of experience that I call phenomenal presence – an aspect of experience that I show is central to its presentational character – and that the appreciation of phenomenal presence is necessary for perceptual intentionality. If an experience is to (...)
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  15.  24
    The Phenomenal Character of Emotional Experience: A Look at Perception Theory.Anika Lutz - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (3):313-334.
    In this paper I examine whether different suggestions made in the philosophy of perception can help us to explain and understand the phenomenal character of emotional experience. After having introduced the range of possible positions, I consider qualia-theory, reductive pure intentionalism and reductive impure intentionalism. I argue that qualia-theory can easily explain why emotions are phenomenal states at all but that it cannot account for the “inextricable link thesis” which is quite prominent in the philosophy of emotion. Reductive pure and (...)
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  16. The Geometry of Visual Space and the Nature of Visual Experience.Farid Masrour - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1813-1832.
    Some recently popular accounts of perception account for the phenomenal character of perceptual experience in terms of the qualities of objects. My concern in this paper is with naturalistic versions of such a phenomenal externalist view. Focusing on visual spatial perception, I argue that naturalistic phenomenal externalism conflicts with a number of scientific facts about the geometrical characteristics of visual spatial experience.
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  17. Agentive Awareness is Not Sensory Awareness.Myrto I. Mylopoulos - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):761-780.
    In this paper, I argue that the conscious awareness one has of oneself as acting, i.e., agentive awareness, is not a type of sensory awareness. After providing some set up in Sect. 1, I move on in Sect. 2 to sketch a profile of sensory agentive experiences as representational states with sensory qualities by which we come to be aware of ourselves as performing actions. In Sect. 3, I critique two leading arguments in favor of positing such sensory experiences: the (...)
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  18.  15
    Believing in Perceiving: Known Illusions and the Classical Dual‐Component Theory.Jake Quilty‐Dunn - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (4):550-575.
    According to a classic but nowadays discarded philosophical theory, perceptual experience is a complex of nonconceptual sensory states and full-blown propositional beliefs. This classical dual-component theory of experience is often taken to be obsolete. In particular, there seem to be cases in which perceptual experience and belief conflict: cases of known illusions, wherein subjects have beliefs contrary to the contents of their experiences. Modern dual-component theories reject the belief requirement and instead hold that perceptual experience is a complex of nonconceptual (...)
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  19.  67
    Do Emotions Represent Values?Laura Schroeter, François Schroeter & Karen Jones - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (3):357-380.
    This paper articulates what it would take to defend representationalism in the case of emotions – i.e. the claim that emotions attribute evaluative properties to target objects or events. We argue that representationalism faces a significant explanatory challenge that has not yet been adequately recognized. Proponents must establish that a representation relation linking emotions and value is explanatorily necessary. We use the case of perception to bring out the difficulties in meeting this explanatory challenge.
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  20. Horgan and Tienson on Phenomenology and Intentionality.Andrew R. Bailey & Bradley Richards - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):313-326.
    Terence Horgan, George Graham and John Tienson argue that some intentional content is constitutively determined by phenomenology alone. We argue that this would require a certain kind of covariation of phenomenal states and intentional states that is not established by Horgan, Tienson and Graham’s arguments. We make the case that there is inadequate reason to think phenomenology determines perceptual belief, and that there is reason to doubt that phenomenology determines any species of non-perceptual intentionality. We also raise worries about the (...)
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  21.  98
    The Phenomenal Use of 'Look' and Perceptual Representation.Berit Brogaard - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (7):455-468.
    The article provides the state of the art on the debate about whether the semantics of ‘look’ statements commits us to any particular theory of perceptual experience. The debate began with Frank Jackson's argument that ‘look’ statements commit us to a sense-datum theory of perception. Thinkers from different camps have since then offered various rejoinders to Jackson's argument. Others have provided novel arguments from considerations of the semantics of ‘look’ to particular theories of perception. The article closes with an argument (...)
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  22. Shadows of Consciousness: The Problem of Phenomenal Properties.Jason Costanzo - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences (4):1-15.
    The aim of this essay is to show that phenomenal properties are contentless modes of appearances of representational properties. The essay initiates with examination of the first-person perspective of the conscious observer according to which a “reference to I” with respect to the observation of experience is determined. A distinction is then drawn between the conscious observer and experience as observed, according to which, three distinct modifications of experience are delineated. These modifications are then analyzed with respect to the content (...)
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  23.  51
    Primary Intersubjectivity: Empathy, Affective Reversibility, 'Self-Affection' and the Primordial 'We'.Anya Daly - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):227-241.
    The arguments advanced in this paper are the following. Firstly, that just as Trevarthen’s three subjective/intersubjective levels, primary, secondary, and tertiary, mapped out different modes of access, so too response is similarly structured, from direct primordial responsiveness, to that informed by shared pragmatic concerns and narrative contexts, to that which demands the distantiation afforded by representation. Secondly, I propose that empathy is an essential mode of intentionality, integral to the primary level of subjectivity/intersubjectivity, which is crucial to our survival as (...)
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  24.  31
    Attention, Consciousness, and the Semantics of Questions.Philipp Koralus - 2014 - Synthese 191 (2):187-211.
  25.  15
    The Erotetic Theory of Attention: Questions, Focus and Distraction.Philipp Koralus - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (1):26-50.
    Attention has a role in much of perception, thought, and action. On the erotetic theory, the functional role of attention is a matter of the relationship between questions and what counts as answers to those questions. Questions encode the completion conditions of tasks for cognitive control purposes, and degrees of attention are degrees of sensitivity to the occurrence of answers. Questions and answers are representational contents given precise characterizations using tools from formal semantics, though attention does not depend on language. (...)
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  26.  41
    Is the Sense‐Data Theory a Representationalist Theory?Fiona Macpherson - 2014 - Ratio 27 (4):369-392.
    Is the sense-data theory, otherwise known as indirect realism, a form of representationalism? This question has been underexplored in the extant literature, and to the extent that there is discussion, contemporary authors disagree. There are many different variants of representationalism, and differences between these variants that some people have taken to be inconsequential turn out to be key factors in whether the sense-data theory is a form of representationalism. Chief among these are whether a representationalist takes the phenomenal character of (...)
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  27. The Phenomenological Directness of Perceptual Experience.Boyd Millar - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (2):235-253.
    When you have a perceptual experience of a given physical object that object seems to be immediately present to you in a way it never does when you consciously think about or imagine it. Many philosophers have claimed that naïve realism (the view that to perceive is to stand in a primitive relation of acquaintance to the world) can provide a satisfying account of this phenomenological directness of perceptual experience while the content view (the view that to perceive is to (...)
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  28. The Phenomenological Problem of Perception.Boyd Millar - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3):625-654.
    A perceptual experience of a given object seems to make the object itself present to the perceiver’s mind. Many philosophers have claimed that naïve realism (the view that to perceive is to stand in a primitive relation of acquaintance to the world) provides a better account of this phenomenological directness of perceptual experience than does the content view (the view that to perceive is to represent the world to be a certain way). But the naïve realist account of this phenomenology (...)
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  29. The Representationalism Versus Relationalism Debate: Explanatory Contextualism About Perception.Bence Nanay - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (1):321-336.
    There are two very different ways of thinking about perception. According to representationalism, perceptual states are representations: they represent the world as being a certain way. They have content, which may or may not be different from the content of beliefs. They represent objects as having properties, sometimes veridically, sometimes not. According to relationalism, perception is a relation between the agent and the perceived object. Perceived objects are literally constituents of our perceptual states and not of the contents thereof. Perceptual (...)
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  30.  33
    Accounting for Consciousness: Epistemic and Operational Issues.Frederic Peters - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (4):441-461.
    Within the philosophy of mind, consciousness is currently understood as the expression of one or other cognitive modality, either intentionality , transparency , subjectivity or reflexivity . However, neither intentionality, subjectivity nor transparency adequately distinguishes conscious from nonconscious cognition. Consequently, the only genuine index or defining characteristic of consciousness is reflexivity, the capacity for autonoetic or self-referring, self-monitoring awareness. But the identification of reflexivity as the principal index of consciousness raises a major challenge in relation to the cognitive mechanism responsible (...)
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  31.  40
    Non Sense-Specific Perception and the Distinction Between the Senses.Louise Richardson - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (2):215-239.
    How should interaction between the senses affect thought about them? I try to capture some ways in which non sense-specific perception might be thought to make it impossible or pointless or explanatorily idle to distinguish between senses. This task is complicated by there being more than one view of the nature of the senses, and more than one kind of non sense-specific perception. I argue, in particular, that provided we are willing to forgo certain assumptions about, for instance, the relationship (...)
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  32.  74
    The Agony of Defeat?Nicholas Silins - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3):505-532.
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  33.  23
    Nonconceptualism and the Cognitive Impenetrability of Early Vision.Josefa Toribio - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (5):621-642.
    (2014). Nonconceptualism and the cognitive impenetrability of early vision. Philosophical Psychology: Vol. 27, No. 5, pp. 621-642. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2014.893386.
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  34. Do We Perceive Natural Kind Properties?Berit Brogaard - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (1):35 - 42.
    I respond to three arguments aimed at establishing that natural kind properties occur in the experiential content of visual experience: the argument from phenomenal difference, the argument from mandatory seeing, and the argument from associative agnosia. I conclude with a simple argument against the view that natural kind properties occur in the experiential content of visual experience.
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  35. Gurwitsch's Phenomenal Holism.Elijah Chudnoff - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (3):559-578.
    Aron Gurwitsch made two main contributions to phenomenology. He showed how to import Gestalt theoretical ideas into Husserl’s framework of constitutive phenomenology. And he explored the light this move sheds on both the overall structure of experience and on particular kinds of experience, especially perceptual experiences and conscious shifts in attention. The primary focus of this paper is the overall structure of experience. I show how Gurwitsch’s Gestalt theoretically informed phenomenological investigations provide a basis for defending what I will call (...)
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  36.  85
    Brentano and the Parts of the Mental: A Mereological Approach to Phenomenal Intentionality.Arnaud Dewalque - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (3):447-464.
    In this paper, I explore one particular dimension of Brentano’s legacy, namely, his theory of mental analysis. This theory has received much less attention in recent literature than the intentionality thesis or the theory of inner perception. However, I argue that it provides us with substantive resources in order to conceptualize the unity of intentionality and phenomenality. My proposal is to think of the connection between intentionality and phenomenality as a certain combination of part/whole relations rather than as a supervenience (...)
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  37. The “New Mind” Revisited, or Minding the Content/Vehicle Distinction: A Response to Manzotti and Pepperell.Andreas Elpidorou - 2013 - AI and Society 28 (4):461-466.
    I argue that Manzotti and Pepperell’s presentation of the New Mind not only obfuscates pertinent differences between externalist views of various strengths, but also, and most problematically, conflates a distinction that cannot, without consequences, be conflated. We can talk about the contents of the mind and/or about the vehicles of those contents. But we should not conflate the two. Conflation of contents and vehicles comes with a price. In Manzotti and Pepperell’s case, it undermines claims they make about the implications (...)
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  38. Colour Constancy and Fregean Representationalism.Boyd Millar - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):219-231.
    All representationalists maintain that there is a necessary connection between an experience’s phenomenal character and intentional content; but there is a disagreement amongst representationalists regarding the nature of those intentional contents that are necessarily connected to phenomenal character. Russellian representationalists maintain that the relevant contents are composed of objects and/or properties, while Fregean representationalists maintain that the relevant contents are composed of modes of presentation of objects and properties. According to Fregean representationalists such as David Chalmers and Brad Thompson, the (...)
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  39. Passage and Perception.Simon Prosser - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):69-84.
    I shall refer to all theories according to which time passes (including dynamic versions of presentism, ‘growing block’ theories, ‘shrinking tree’ theories, and so on) under the umbrella term ‘A-theory’, and I shall use the term ‘B-theory’ in the standard way to refer to the theory according to which time does not pass, and although events are ordered in time there is no objective present time.1 Many philosophers, both A- and B-theorists, have agreed that in experience we are, or at (...)
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  40. The Epistemic Impact of the Etiology of Experience.Susanna Siegel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):697-722.
    In this paper I offer a theory of what makes certain influences on visual experiences by prior mental states (including desires, beliefs, moods, and fears) reduce the justificatory force of those experiences. The main idea is that experiences, like beliefs, can have rationally assessable etiologies, and when those etiologies are irrational, the experiences are epistemically downgraded.
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  41. The Nature of Cognitive Phenomenology.Declan Smithies - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (8):744-754.
    This is the first in a series of two articles that serve as an introduction to recent debates about cognitive phenomenology. Cognitive phenomenology can be defined as the experience that is associated with cognitive activities, such as thinking, reasoning, and understanding. What is at issue in contemporary debates is not the existence of cognitive phenomenology, so defined, but rather its nature and theoretical role. The first article examines questions about the nature of cognitive phenomenology, while the second article explores the (...)
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  42. The Significance of Cognitive Phenomenology.Declan Smithies - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (8):731-743.
    This is the second in a series of two articles that serve as an introduction to recent debates about cognitive phenomenology. Cognitive phenomenology can be defined as the experience that is associated with cognitive activities, such as thinking, reasoning, and understanding. What is at issue in contemporary debates is not the existence of cognitive phenomenology, so defined, but rather its nature and theoretical role. The first article examines questions about the nature of cognitive phenomenology, while the second article explores the (...)
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  43. What is the Problem of Non-Existence?Tim Crane - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (3):417-434.
    It is widely held that there is a problem of talking about or otherwise representing things that not exist. But what exactly is this problem? This paper presents a formulation of the problem in terms of the conflict between the fact that there are truths about non-existent things and the fact that truths must be answerable to reality, how things are. Given this, the problem of singular negative existential statements is no longer the central or most difficult aspect of the (...)
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  44.  12
    IX-WhyNaiveRealism?Heather Logue - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (2pt2):211-237.
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  45. Perceiving Tropes.Bence Nanay - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (1):1-14.
    There are two very different ways of thinking about perception. According to the first one, perception is representational: it represents the world as being a certain way. According to the second, perception is a genuine relation between the perceiver and a token object. These two views are thought to be incompatible. My aim is to work out the least problematic version of the representational view of perception that preserves the most important considerations in favor of the relational view. According to (...)
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  46. Why Does Time Seem to Pass?Simon Prosser - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):92-116.
    According to the B-theory, the passage of time is an illusion. The B-theory therefore requires an explanation of this illusion before it can be regarded as fullysatisfactory; yet very few B-theorists have taken up the challenge of trying to provide one. In this paper I take some first steps toward such an explanation by first making a methodological proposal, then a hypothesis about a key element in the phenomenology of temporal passage. The methodological proposal focuses onthe representational content of the (...)
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  47. Representationalism and the Scene-Immediacy of Visual Experience: A Journey to the Fringe and Back.Robert Schroer - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (4):595 - 615.
    Both visual experience and conscious thought represent external objects, but in visual experience these objects seem present before the mind and available for direct access in a way that they don?t in conscious thought. In this paper, I introduce a couple of challenges that this ?Scene-Immediacy? of visual experience raises for traditional versions of Representationalism. I then identify a resource to which Representationalists can appeal in addressing these challenges: the low-detail fringe of visual experience. I argue that low-detail contents within (...)
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  48. The Mental Lives of Zombies.Declan Smithies - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):343-372.
    Could there be a cognitive zombie – that is, a creature with the capacity for cognition, but no capacity for consciousness? Searle argues that there cannot be a cognitive zombie because there cannot be an intentional zombie: on this view, there is a connection between consciousness and cognition that is derived from a more fundamental connection between consciousness and intentionality. However, I argue that there are good empirical reasons for rejecting the proposed connection between consciousness and intentionality. Instead, I argue (...)
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  49.  44
    Contemporary Philosophy of Mind and Buddhist Thought.John Spackman - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (10):741-751.
    Recent years have seen a growing interest in Buddhist thought as a potential source of alternative conceptions of the nature of the mind and the relation between the mental and the physical. This article considers and assesses three different models of what contemporary philosophy of mind can learn from Buddhist thought. One model, advocated by Alan Wallace, holds that we can learn from Buddhist meditation that both individual consciousness and the physical world itself emerge from a deeper, “primordial” consciousness. A (...)
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  50. Are Emotions Perceptual Experiences of Value?Demian Whiting - 2012 - Ratio 25 (1):93-107.
    A number of emotion theorists hold that emotions are perceptions of value. In this paper I say why they are wrong. I claim that in the case of emotion there is nothing that can provide the perceptual modality that is needed if the perceptual theory is to succeed (where by ‘perceptual modality’ I mean the particular manner in which something is perceived). I argue that the five sensory modalities are not possible candidates for providing us with ‘emotional perception’. But I (...)
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