Phenomenal Holism

Abstract
According to proponents of ‘phenomenal holism’, the intrinsic characteristics of the parts of unified conscious states are dependent to some degree on the characteristics of the wholes to which they belong. Although the doctrine can easily seem obscure or implausible, there are eminent philosophers who have defended it, amongst them Timothy Sprigge. In Stream of Consciousness (2000) I found Sprigge’s case for phenomenal holism problematic on several counts; in this paper I re-assess some of these criticisms. Recent experimental work suggests cross-modal perceptual interference may be far more prevalent than expected. I argue that although these results do lend support to phenomenal holism in one of its guises, they do not support the strong form of holism espoused by Sprigge. I then move on to consider the relevance and impact of certain gestalt-related considerations, and argue that these considerations at best establish that the stronger form of holism applies to some parts of some experiential states, but not to all parts of all states, as Sprigge claims. I then consider a more promising way forward for anyone who wishes to defend an across-the-board holism of the strong variety, arguing that what is required is a form of phenomenal interdependence that is rooted solely in phenomenal unity. I conclude by outlining a case for thinking that an interdependence of this sort is a quite general feature of unified conscious states
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S135824611000007X
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,385
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Experience and Content.Alex Byrne - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):429-451.
Perception and the Reach of Phenomenal Content.Tim Bayne - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):385-404.
What Are the Contents of Experiences?Adam Pautz - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):483-507.
The Visual Experience of Causation.Susanna Siegel - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):519-540.
The Field of Consciousness.Aron Gurwitsch - 1964 - Duquesne University Press.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
On the Limits of the Method of Phenomenal Contrast.Martina Fürst - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (2):168-188.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Intellectual Gestalts.Elijah Chudnoff - 2013 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Phenomenal Intentionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 174.
Sensory Holism and Functionalism.Joseph Thomas Tolliver - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):972-973.
Gurwitsch's Phenomenal Holism.Elijah Chudnoff - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (3):559-578.
Is Content Holism Incoherent?Kirk A. Ludwig - 1993 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 46:173-195.
Moderate Holism and the Instability Thesis.Henry Jackman - 1999 - American Philosophical Quarterly 36 (4):361-69.
Phenomenal Concepts.Pär Sundström - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (4):267-281.
Holism in Cartesianism and in Today's Philosophy of Physics.Michael Esfeld - 1999 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 30 (1):17-36.
A Theory of Holism for Nursing.Simon Woods - 1998 - Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy 1 (3):255-261.
Phenomenal Consciousness and Intentionality.Dana K. Nelkin - 2001 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 7.
Ruritania Revisited.Ned Block - 1995 - Philosophical Issues 6:171-187.
Added to PP index
2010-09-14

Total downloads
87 ( #67,077 of 2,225,965 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #251,216 of 2,225,965 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature