Representationalism and Husserlian Phenomenology

Husserl Studies 27 (3):197-215 (2011)
Abstract
According to contemporary representationalism, phenomenal qualia—of specifically sensory experiences—supervene on representational content. Most arguments for representationalism share a common, phenomenological premise: the so-called “transparency thesis.” According to the transparency thesis, it is difficult—if not impossible—to distinguish the quality or character of experiencing an object from the perceived properties of that object. In this paper, I show that Husserl would react negatively to the transparency thesis; and, consequently, that Husserl would be opposed to at least two versions of contemporary representationalism. First, I show that Husserl would be opposed to strong representationalism, since he believes the cognitive content of a perceptual episode can vary despite constancy of sensory qualia. Second, I then show that Husserl would be opposed to weak representationalism, since he believes that sensory qualia—specifically, the sort that he calls “kinesthetic sensations”—can vary despite constancy in representational content
Keywords Philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s10743-011-9093-y
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References found in this work BETA
The Intrinsic Quality of Experience.Gilbert Harman - 1990 - Philosophical Perspectives 4:31-52.
The Significance of Consciousness.Charles Siewert - 1998 - Princeton University Press.
Consciousness, Color, and Content.Michael Tye - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 113 (3):233 - 235.

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Citations of this work BETA
Husserl's Hyletic Data and Phenomenal Consciousness.Kenneth Williford - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (3):501-519.

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