Representationalism, perceptual distortion and the limits of phenomenal concepts

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):16-36 (2015)
Authors
David Bourget
University of Western Ontario
Abstract
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 can be shown by considering limit cases of perceptual distortion, for example, maximally blurry experiences, which manifestly lack details present in clear experiences. I argue that since there is no reasonable way to draw the line between distorted experiences that have degraded content and distorted experiences that do not, we should allow that an increase in distortion is always acc..
Keywords representationalism intentionalism  distortion  blur blurry vision  intentionalism intentionality  perceptual content  double vision  transparency  perspective  phenomenal concepts  consciousness phenomenal character
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2015
DOI 10.1080/00455091.2014.981932
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Intrinsic Quality of Experience.Gilbert Harman - 1990 - Philosophical Perspectives 4:31-52.
Does Conceivability Entail Possibility?David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
The Representational Character of Experience.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - In Brian Leiter (ed.), The Future for Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 153--181.

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Intensional Perceptual Ascriptions.David Bourget - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):513-530.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Attention and Intentionalism.Jeff Speaks - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):325-342.
Seeing It All Clearly: The Real Story on Blurry Vision.Robert Schroer - 2002 - American Philosophical Quarterly 39 (3):297-301.
Transparency, Intentionalism, and the Nature of Perceptual Content.Jeff Speaks - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):539-573.
Representationalism and Husserlian Phenomenology.Michael Shim - 2011 - Husserl Studies 27 (3):197-215.
Representational Theories of Phenomenal Character.Fiona Macpherson - 2000 - Dissertation, University of Stirling
Experience and Content.Alex Byrne - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):429-451.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-11-01

Total downloads
1,194 ( #1,072 of 2,285,807 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
45 ( #8,380 of 2,285,807 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature