Phenomenal and objective size

Noûs 43 (2):346-362 (2009)

Definitions of phenomenal types (Nelson Goodman’s definition of qualia, Sydney Shoemaker’s phenomenal types, Austen Clark’s physicalist theory of qualia) imply that numerically distinct experiences can be type-identical in some sense. However, Goodman also argues that objects cannot be replicated in respect of continuous and densely ordered types. In that case, how can phenomenal types be defined for sizes, shapes and colours, which appear to be continuously ordered types? Concentrating on size, I will argue for the following points. (§2) We cannot deny the possibility of replication in respect of dense types, because this would imply that particulars have determinable sizes, shapes and colours. (§3) Phenomenal sizes and shapes are determinable types; objective, or super-determinate, sizes and shapes are unknowable. (§4) We can define and know, prior to verification, groupings of objective sizes for which indiscriminability is transitive. (§5) Phenomenal identity has to be defined on the basis of these transitive groupings, because finer-grained criteria (such as Goodman’s) lead to definition of objective identity. The quality space of phenomenal types consists of overlapping but not dense types, and this prevents a collapse of phenomenal types.
Keywords phenomenal properties  qualia  indiscernibles  representationalism
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2009.00709.x
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References found in this work BETA

Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Mental Causation.Stephen Yablo - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.
Phenomenal Character.Sydney Shoemaker - 1994 - Noûs 28 (1):21-38.
The Structure of Appearance.Nelson Goodman - 1951 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Color and Cognitive Penetrability.John Zeimbekis - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):167-175.
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