Some thoughts about Thinking About Consciousness [Book Review]

David Papineau’s Thinking About Consciousness tells a skillful, inventive, and plausible story about why, given that the phenomenal character of conscious experience is an unproblematically physical property, we continue to suffer from “intuitions of dualism”. According to Papineau, we are misled by the peculiar structure of the phenomenal concepts we use to introspect upon that phenomenal character. Roughly: unlike physical concepts, phenomenal concepts exemplify the kind of experience they are concepts of; and this creates the mistaken impression that the physical concepts leave something out. I find much of Papineau’s account congenial, though I have some questions about his characterization of phenomenal concepts. I will take up two of these questions here. On Papineau’s view, phenomenal concepts are mental terms that are formed by concatenating an experience operator, namely ‘the experience: —’, together with “an actual state of… perceptual classification” (115). The latter state, itself an experience, fills the blank in the experience operator; and the concept thus formed refers to the type of experience whose instances are relevantly similar to that perceptual filling.1 Papineau writes
Keywords Consciousness  Metaphysics  Phenomenology  Papineau, David
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2005.tb00438.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,188
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

55 ( #92,898 of 2,153,836 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #279,963 of 2,153,836 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums