What is it Like to See a Bat? A Critique of Dretske’s Representationalist Theory of Qualia

Disputatio 1 (18):1 - 27 (2005)
This paper critiques the representationalist account of qualia, focussing on the Representational Naturalism presented by Fred Dretske in Naturalizing the Mind. After laying out Dretskes theory of qualia and making clear its externalist consequences, I argue that Dretskes definition is either too liberal or runs into problems defending its requirements, in particular naturalness and mentalness. I go on to show that Dretskes account of qualia falls foul of the argument from misperception in such a way that Dretske must either admit that his kind of qualia have nothing at all to do with what mental life subjectively feels like, or that veridical perception involves qualia and misperception does not
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