Common sense about qualities and senses

Philosophical Studies 138 (3):299 - 316 (2008)
Authors
Peter Ross
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Abstract
There has been some recent optimism that addressing the question of how we distinguish sensory modalities will help us consider whether there are limits on a scientific understanding of perceptual states. For example, Block has suggested that the way we distinguish sensory modalities indicates that perceptual states have qualia which at least resist scientific characterization. At another extreme, Keeley argues that our common-sense way of distinguishing the senses in terms of qualitative properties is misguided, and offers a scientific eliminativism about common-sense modalities which avoids appeal to qualitative properties altogether. I’ll argue contrary to Keeley that qualitative properties are necessary for distinguishing senses, and contrary to Block that our common-sense distinction doesn’t indicate that perceptual states have qualia. A non-qualitative characterization of perceptual states isn’t needed to avoid the potential limit on scientific understanding imposed by qualia
Keywords Senses  Modalities  Qualia  Perception
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-006-9038-z
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References found in this work BETA

Studies in the Way of Words.H. Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Word and Object.W. V. Quine - 1960 - MIT Press.
On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
How to Speak of the Colors.Mark Johnston - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 68 (3):221-263.

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Citations of this work BETA

Is There a Space of Sensory Modalities?Richard Gray - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (6):1259-1273.

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