Phenomenal Concepts

In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), Oxford Handbook in the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 292--312 (2009)
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Abstract

This article is about the special, subjective concepts we apply to experience, called “phenomenal concepts”. They are of special interest in a number of ways. First, they refer to phenomenal experiences, and the qualitative character of those experiences whose metaphysical status is hotly debated. Conscious experience strike many philosophers as philosophically problematic and difficult to accommodate within a physicalistic metaphysics. Second, PCs are widely thought to be special and unique among concepts. The sense that there is something special about PCs is very closely tied up with features of the epistemic access they afford to qualia. When we deploy phenomenal concepts introspectively to some phenomenally conscious experience as it occurs, we are said to be acquainted with our own conscious experiences. Accounts of PCs either have to explain the acquaintance relation, or acquaintance with our phenomenal experiences has to be denied. PCs have received much attention in recent philosophy of mind mainly because they figure in arguments for dualism and in physicalist responses to these arguments. The main topic of this article is to explore different accounts of phenomenal concepts and their role in recent debates over the metaphysical status of phenomenal consciousness.

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Katalin Balog
Rutgers University - Newark

Citations of this work

Revelation and physicalism.Kelly Trogdon - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2345-2366.
What Acquaintance Teaches.Alex Grzankowski & Michael Tye - 2019 - In Thomas Raleigh & Jonathan Knowles (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 75–94.
Addressing Higher-Order Misrepresentation with Quotational Thought.Vincent Picciuto - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (3-4):109-136.

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References found in this work

Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.

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