Discusses recent work on representationalism, including: the case for a representationalist theory of consciousness, which explains consciousness in terms of content; rivals such as neurobiological type-type identity theory (Papineau, McLaughlin) and naive realism (Allen, Campbell, Brewer); John Campbell and David Papineau's recent objections to representationalism; the problem of the "laws of appearance"; externalist vs internalist versions of representationalism; the relation between representationalism and the mind-body problem.
The Significance Argument (SA) for the irreducibility of consciousness is based on a series of new puzzle-cases that I call multiple candidate cases. In these cases, there is a multiplicity of physical-functional properties or relations that are candidates to be identified with the sensible qualities and our consciousness of them, where those candidates are not significantly different. I will argue that these cases show that reductive materialists cannot accommodate the various ways in which consciousness is significant. I also will argue (...) that a nonreductive theory of the conscious-of relation can easily provide a very satisfying, unified explanation of the ways in which this relation is significant. (shrink)
Phenomenal intentionality is irreducible. Empirical investigation shows it is internally-dependent. So our usual externalist (causal, etc.) theories do not apply here. Internalist views of phenomenal intentionality (e. g. interpretationism) also fail. The resulting primitivist view avoids Papineau's worry that terms for consciousness are highly indeterminate: since conscious properties are extremely natural (despite having unnatural supervenience bases) they are 'reference magnets'.
I address three interrelated issues concerning the contents of experiences. First, I address the preliminary issue of what it means to say that experiences have contents. Then I address the issue of why we should believe that experiences have contents. Finally, I address the issue of what the contents of experiences are.
In this paper, I do a few things. I develop a (largely) empirical argument against naïve realism (Campbell, Martin, others) and for representationalism. I answer Papineau’s recent paper “Against Representationalism (about Experience)”. And I develop a new puzzle for representationalists.
H. H. Price (1932) held that experience is essentially presentational. According to Price, when one has an experience of a tomato, nothing can be more certain than that there is something of which one is aware. Price claimed that the same applies to hallucination. In general, whenever one has a visual experience, there is something of which one is aware, according to Price. Call this thesis Item-Awareness.
I develop several new arguments against claims about "cognitive phenomenology" and its alleged role in grounding thought content. My arguments concern "absent cognitive qualia cases", "altered cognitive qualia cases", and "disembodied cognitive qualia cases". However, at the end, I sketch a positive theory of the role of phenomenology in grounding content, drawing on David Lewis's work on intentionality. I suggest that within Lewis's theory the subject's total evidence plays the central role in fixing mental content and ruling out deviant interpretations. (...) However I point out a huge unnoticed problem, the problem of evidence: Lewis really has no theory of sensory content and hence no theory of what fixes evidence. I suggest a way of plugging this hole in Lewis's theory. On the resulting theory, which I call " phenomenal functionalism", there is a sense in which sensory phenomenology is the source of all determinate intentionality. Phenomenal functionalism has similarities to the theories of Chalmers and Schwitzgebel. (shrink)
Using empirical research on pain, sound and taste, I argue against the combination of intentionalism about consciousness and a broadly ‘tracking’ psychosemantics of the kind defended by Fodor, Dretske, Hill, Neander, Stalnaker, Tye and others. Then I develop problems with Kriegel and Prinz's attempt to combine a Dretskean psychosemantics with the view that sensible properties are Shoemakerian response-dependent properties. Finally, I develop in detail my own 'primitivist' view of sensory intentionality.
Physicalism about colour is the thesis that colours are identical with response-independent, physical properties of objects. I endorse the Argument from Structure against Physicalism about colour. The argument states that Physicalism cannot accommodate certain obvious facts about colour structure: for instance, that red is a unitary colour while purple is a binary colour, and that blue resembles purple more than green. I provide a detailed formulation of the argument. According to the most popular response to the argument, the Physicalist can (...) accommodate colour structure by explaining it in terms of colour experience. I argue that this response fails. Along the way, I examine other interesting issues in the philosophy of colour and colour perception, for instance the relational structure of colour experience and the description theory of how colour names refer. (shrink)
I address a second issue that arises once we accept intentionalism: can intentionalists accept the claim of Horgan and Tienson (among others) that phenomenology is in some sense prior to intentionality? And should they?
This paper is about Susanna Schellenberg's view on the explanatory role of perceptual experience. I raise a basic question about what the argument for her view might be. Then I develop two new problem cases: one involving “seamless transitions” between perception and hallucination and another involving the graded character of perceptual evidence and justification.
I argue that Byrne and Hilbert have not answered Hardin’s objection to physicalism about color concerning the unitary-binary structure of the colors for two reasons. First, their account of unitary-binary structure seems unsatisfactory. Second, _pace_ Byrne and Hilbert, there are no physicalistically acceptable candidates to be the hue- magnitudes. I conclude with a question about the justification of physicalism about color.
Philosophical theories of color divide over two issues. First, there is the issue of Reductionism versus Primitivism. _Reductionism_ holds that colors are identical with physical properties, dispositional properties, or other properties specifiable in non-chromatic terms.
I am going to develop an argument against Physicalism concerning qualitative mental properties. Unlike most arguments against Physicalism, it is not based on the usual _a priori_ considerations, such as what Mary learns when she comes out of her black and white room or the apparent conceivability of Zombies. Rather, it is based on two broadly _a posteriori_ premises about the structure of experience and its physical basis.
I develop a problem for the Fregean Reference Shift analysis of that-clause reference. The problem is discussed by Stephen Schiffer in his recent book The Things We Mean (2003). Either the defender of the Fregean Reference Shift analysis must count certain counterintuitive inferences as valid, or else he must reject a plausible Exportation rule. I consider several responses. I find that the best response relies on a Kaplan-inspired analysis of quantified belief reports. But I argue that this response faces some (...) serious problems. (shrink)
The mind-body problem is one of the last great intellectual mysteries facing humankind. The hard core of the mind-body problem is the problem of qualitative character: the what-it's-likeness of conscious states. What is the nature of qualitative character? Can it be explained in terms of the intentional content of experience? What is the nature of the so-called secondary qualities---colors, sounds, smells, and so on? Finally, is Physicalism about qualitative character correct? In other words, are a person's qualitative mental properties determined, (...) as a matter of 'strict' or 'metaphysical' necessity, by her physical and functional properties? ;My dissertation is a collection of essays that address these questions. They are self-standing but interrelated. Collectively, they develop a case for skepticism concerning Physicalism about qualitative mental properties. It is common to argue against Physicalism on a priori grounds: that it is shown to be false by the conceivability of Zombies, that it is incompatible with the 'explanatory gap', that it falls victim to Frank Jackson's Mary argument, and so on. The argument I develop does not rely on the usual a priori considerations. The structure of the argument is simple. In the first essay I argue that in the case of qualitative mental properties the only form of Physicalism which we have reason to accept is what I call 'Identity Physicalism': roughly, the view that qualitative mental properties are identical with physical or functional properties. If it can be shown to be false, we have no reason to accept the Physicalist's modally very strong claim that there is a metaphysically necessary connection between a person's qualitative mental properties, on the one hand, and her physical-functional properties, on the other. In the remaining essays, I use empirical considerations to argue that Identity Physicalism is false in the case of qualitative mental properties. The result is a skeptical position with regard to Physicalism. ;But the dissertation is not entirely negative. Along the way to arguing for this negative conclusion, I develop a package of positive views which are largely independent of it. (shrink)
Hardin argues that Reflectance Physicalism about color fails because it cannot accommodate color structure. David Lewis and others have replied that the Reflectance Physicalist may explain color structure in terms of color experience. I argue that this reply fails.
Perception is one of the most pervasive and puzzling problems in philosophy, generating a great deal of attention and controversy in philosophy of mind, psychology and metaphysics. If perceptual illusion and hallucination are possible, how can perception be what it intuitively seems to be, a direct and immediate access to reality? _Perception _is an outstanding introduction to this fundamental topic, covering both the perennial problems and recent work on the problem. Adam Pautz examines four of the most important theories of (...) perception: the sense datum view; the Qualia view; the intentional view; and the disjunctive view, assessing each in turn. He also discusses the relationship between perception and the physical world, in particular arguments for physical reductivism in perception, and the problem of sensory qualities such as color. Useful examples are included throughout the book to illustrate the problematic nature of perception, including consciousness, hallucination, illusion, blindsight, the reliability of introspection, and whether perception is conceptual or non-conceptual. The addition of chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make _Perception_ essential reading for anyone studying the topic and students of philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology and metaphysics. (shrink)
I am going to develop an argument against Physicalism concerning qualitative mental properties. Unlike most arguments against Physicalism, it is not based on the usual a priori considerations, such as what Mary learns when she comes out of her black and white room or the apparent conceivability of Zombies. Rather, it is based on two broadly a posteriori premises about the structure of experience and its physical basis.