Explaining Temporal Qualia

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-24 (2020)
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Abstract

Experiences of motion and change are widely taken to have a ‘flow-like’ quality. Call this ‘temporal qualia’. Temporal qualia are commonly thought to be central to the question of whether time objectively passes: (1) passage realists take temporal passage to be necessary in order for us to have the temporal qualia we do; (2) passage antirealists typically concede that time appears to pass, as though our temporal qualia falsely represent time as passing. I reject both claims and make the case that passage-talk plays no useful explanatory role with respect to temporal qualia, but rather obfuscates what the philosophical problem of temporal qualia is. I offer a ‘reductionist’ account of temporal qualia that makes no reference to the concept of passage and argue that it is well motivated by empirical studies in motion perception.

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Matt Farr
Cambridge University

Citations of this work

Perceiving Direction in Directionless Time.Matt Farr - 2023 - In Kasia M. Jaszczolt (ed.), Understanding Human Time. Oxford University Press. pp. 199-219.
Experimental philosophy on time.James Norton - 2021 - Philosophy Compass (11).
Against Passage Illusionism.Kristie Miller - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9.

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References found in this work

The metaphysics within physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The unreality of time.John Ellis McTaggart - 1908 - Mind 17 (68):457-474.
Materialism and qualia: The explanatory gap.Joseph Levine - 1983 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64 (October):354-61.
What Mary Didn't Know.Frank Jackson - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (5):291-295.

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