Strong representationalism and centered content

Philosophical Studies 151 (3):373 - 392 (2010)

Authors
Berit Brogaard
University of Miami
Abstract
I argue that strong representationalism, the view that for a perceptual experience to have a certain phenomenal character just is for it to have a certain representational content (perhaps represented in the right sort of way), encounters two problems: the dual looks problem and the duplication problem. The dual looks problem is this: strong representationalism predicts that how things phenomenally look to the subject reflects the content of the experience. But some objects phenomenally look to both have and not have certain properties, for example, my bracelet may phenomenally look to be circular-shaped and oval-shaped (and hence non-circularshaped). So, if strong representationalism is true, then the content of my experience ought to represent my bracelet as being both circular-shaped and non-circular-shaped. Yet, intuitively, the content of my experience does not represent my bracelet as being both circular-shaped and non-circular-shaped. The duplication problem is this. On a standard conception of content, spatio-temporally distinct experiences and experiences had by distinct subjects may differ in content despite the fact that they are phenomenally indistinguishable. But this undermines the thesis that phenomenal character determines content. I argue that the two problems can be solved by applying a version of an idea from David Chalmers, which is to recognize the existence of genuinely centered properties in the content of perceptual experience
Keywords Strong representationalism  The duplication problem  The dual looks problem  The content of perception  Perceptual content  Phenomenal character  Viewpoint-dependent property  Viewpoint-independent property  Centered worlds  Centered content  Centered properties
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-009-9437-z
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References found in this work BETA

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
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Intentionality.John Searle - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
The Representational Character of Experience.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - In Brian Leiter (ed.), The Future for Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 153--181.

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Citations of this work BETA

Are Perspectival Shapes Seen or Imagined? An Experimental Approach.John Schwenkler & Assaf Weksler - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-23.

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