Acta Analytica 30 (4):325-345 (2015)

Authors
Matthew Rellihan
Seattle University
Abstract
Representationalism is widely thought to grease the skids of ontological reduction. If phenomenal character is just a certain sort of intentional content, representationalists argue, the hard problem of accommodating consciousness within a broadly naturalistic view of the world reduces to the much easier problem of accommodating intentionality. I argue, however, that there’s a fatal flaw in this reasoning, for if phenomenal character really is just a certain sort of intentional content, it’s not anything like the sort of intentional content described by our best naturalistic theories. These theories make intentional content a mere Cambridge property of intentional states, a property that can be gained or lost through changes to distinct and causally disconnected objects. But consciousness is manifestly not like this; consciousness cannot suffer a mere Cambridge change. Thus, whatever ground is gained by explaining the phenomenal in terms of the intentional is lost again by undermining our best attempts to explain the intentional in terms of the natural. A Pyrrhic victory at best
Keywords Consciousness  Representationalism  Intentionality  Naturalistic theories of meaning
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-015-0256-x
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Functional Properties Are Epiphenomenal.Matthew Rellihan - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):1171-1195.

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