Content, Character, and Color Ii: A Better Kind of Representationalism

From now on I will assume that it is possible in principle for there to be cases of spectrum inversion in which the invertees are equally good perceivers of the colors. What I want to show next is that while allowing this possibility is incompatible with standard representationalism, it requires acceptance of a different version of representationalism. Consider the standard way of describing a case of spectrum inversion. Returning to Jack and Jill, we say that red things look to Jack the way green things look to Jill, blue things look to Jack the way yellow things look to Jill, and so on. Of course, we might also express this by saying that the phenomenal character of Jack’s experience of red things is like the phenomenal character of Jill’s experience of green things, and so on. Or by saying that “what it is like” for Jack to see red things is “what it is like” for Jill to see green things, and so on. But “phenomenal character” is philosophical jargon, and “what it is like” is on its way to being that. We need to be able cash these locutions in terms that we are sure we understand. And I think that the best way of doing that is in terms of how things look. Now the sense in which red things look different to Jack and Jill cannot be that they look to have different colors in the epistemic sense. We can suppose that both perceive red things as being red, and therefore that to both red things look red in the epistemic sense. Nor can it be the comparative sense – to each, we can suppose, red things look like standard red things under standard conditions. The remaining sense of “looks” is supposed to be the phenomenal sense. Now those who employ this notion typically speak of things as looking red, blue, yellow, etc., in the phenomenal sense. But if Jack and Jill are both accurate perceivers of the colors of things, it can’t be that the difference in how things look to them is a difference in what colors things look to them, even if “looks” is used in the phenomenal sense..
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