Representationalism, supervenience, and the cross-modal problem

Philosophical Studies 130 (2):285-95 (2006)

Authors
John O'Dea
University of Tokyo
Abstract
The representational theory of phenomenal experience is often stated in terms of a supervenience thesis: Byrne recently characterises it as the thesis that “there can be no difference in phenomenal character without a difference in content”, while according to Tye, “[a]t a minimum, the thesis is one of supervenience: necessarily, experiences that are alike in their representational contents are alike in their phenomenal character.” Consequently, much of the debate over whether representationalism is true centres on purported counter-examples – that is to say, purported failures of supervenience. The refutation of putative counter-examples has been, it seems to me, by and large successful. But there is a certain class of these for which the representationalist response has been something less than completely convincing. These are the cross-modality cases. I will explain what I mean, and then argue that the response in question is not only unconvincing but actually undermines the representationalist position.
Keywords Content  Experience  Metaphysics  Phenomena  Representationalism  Supervenience  Tye, Michael
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-004-4514-9
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References found in this work BETA

Intentionalism Defended.Alex Byrne - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (2):199 - 240.
What Is It Like to See with Your Ears? The Representational Theory of Mind.Dominic M. McIver Lopes - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (2):439-453.

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Citations of this work BETA

Intentionalism.Tim Crane - 2009 - In Brian McLaughlin & Ansgar Beckermann (eds.), The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 474-93.
Perception and Multimodality.Casey O'Callaghan - 2012 - In Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press.
Visual Awareness of Properties.Matthew J. Kennedy - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):298–325.

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