This critical discussion of Michael Pelczar's Sensorama (OUP, 2015)raises several interrelated issues about Pelczar's phenomenalism that arise from its commitment to ungrounded experiential conditionals reflecting what experiences there would be, were there other experiences.
How do we reconcile Husserl’s repeated criticism of Mach’s phenomenalism almost everywhere in his work with the leading role that Husserl seems to attribute to Mach in the genesis of his own phenomenology? To answer this question, we shall examine, first, the narrow relation that Husserl establishes between his phenomenological method and Mach’s descriptivism. Second, we shall examine two aspects of Husserl’s criticism of Mach: the first concerns phenomenalism and Mach’s doctrine of elements, while the second concerns the (...) principle of economy of thought, which Husserl closely associates with a form of psychologism in his Logical Investigations . Our working hypothesis is that the apparent contradictory comments of Husserl regarding Mach’s positivism can be partially explained by the double status he confers to his own phenomenology—as a philosophical program radically opposed to positivism, and as a method akin to Mach’s descriptivism. (shrink)
In this paper, I offer a detailed critical reading of Robert Brandom’s project to give an expressive bootstrapping account of intentionality, cashed out as a normative-phenomenalist account of what I will call genuine normativity. I claim that there is a reading of Making It Explicit that evades the predominant charges of either reductionism or circularity. However, making sense of Brandom’s book in the way proposed here involves correcting Brandom’s own general account of what he is doing in it, and thus (...) presenting the argumentative structure of Making It Explicit in a new light. (shrink)
Broadly speaking, phenomenalism is the position that physical facts depend upon sensory facts. Many have thought it to imply that physical statements are translatable into sensory statements. Not surprisingly, the impossibility of such translations led many to abandon phenomenalism in favor of materialism. But this was rash, for if phenomenalism is reformulated as the claim that physical facts supervene upon sensory facts, then translatability is no longer required. Given materialism's failure to account for subjective experience, there has (...) been a revival of property dualism. But property dualism implies indirect realism with its threat of scepticism. Given difficulties with materialism and dualism, philosophers should reconsider phenomenalism. (shrink)
Phenomenalism is a philosophical theory of perception involving the idea that statements about material objects can be explained in terms of statements about actual and possible sense experiences. In this study James Giles explores the development of phenomenalism through the works of Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and others. He shows how problems occur for phenomenalists precisely at the point where they abandon their empiricism. Holding to empiricism, Giles then presents his own version of phenomenalism as a metaphysical thesis (...) in which the material objects are constructed out of sense experience. He then argues that the major critiques of phenomenalism, including Wittgenstein’s private language argument and Sellars’ famous attack on the ‘myth of the given’, all fail to dislodge the basic phenomenalist insights. (shrink)
How does the modern scientific conception of time constrain the project of assigning the mind its proper place in nature? On the scientific conception, it makes no sense to speak of the duration of a pain, or the simultaneity of sensations occurring in different parts of the brain. Such considerations led Henri Poincaré, one of the founders of the modern conception, to conclude that consciousness does not exist in spacetime, but serves as the basic material out of which we must (...) create the physical world. The central claim of Sensorama is that Poincaré was substantially correct. The best way to reconcile the scientific conception of time with the evidence of introspection is through a phenomenalist metaphysic according to which consciousness exists in neither time nor space, but serves as a basis for the logical construction of spacetime and its contents. (shrink)
During the second decade of the 20th century Hans Kleinpeter, an Austrian scholar devoted to the development of the modern science, published some brief papers on Nietzsche’s thought. Kleinpeter has been one of the main upholders of Mach’s epistemology and probably the first who connected his ideas with the philosophy of Nietzsche. In his book on Der Phänomenalismus (1913) he described a new world view that arose in the 19th century, a perspective that ‒ according to him ‒ completely contrasted (...) the mechanistic and metaphysical world view of the old school of scientific inquiry. The main outcome of the scientists whose name was related with this perspective (e.g. Clifford, Maxwell, Kirchoff and, obviously, Mach himself) has been the refusal of the absolute value of any “truth”. Kleinpeter’s statements on this topic are a good example of the rising of a Scientific Philosophy, whose development involved many scientists and thinkers that later set up the Verein Ernst Mach and the Wiener Kreis. On the other hand, his interest on Nietzsche is a relevant case of reception of the latter’s thought, that Kleinpeter puts into the context of the contemporary epistemology. In fact, he considers Nietzsche as one of the main upholders of the phenomenalistic world view, and states that he «took part at the same renewal of philosophical investigation that arose from the latest results of scientific inquiry» during the 19th century. A renewal whose main outcomes has been presented by John Stallo in his book on The Concepts and Theories of Modern Physics (1881), which Kleinpeter translated in German and published in 1901. According to Kleinpeter, in Nietzsche’s writings (mostly unpublished) one can find a theory of knowledge quite close to the one presented by both Mach and the new born Pragmatism, i.e. the complete refusal of an absolute truth and, therefore, the development of an antimetaphysical world view. In my paper I’ll discuss the main statements presented by Kleinpeter on this topic and show which of Nietzsche’s ideas has actually been in compliance with the main outcomes of late 19th century science. Thus, I’ll carry out a reconstruction of an unfamiliar side of the first period of reception of the philosophy of Nietzsche and its relevance to the development of a new (scientific) world view. (shrink)
Most philosophers believe that qualitative states must be explained in terms of physical states of the brain in order to resolve the mind/ body problem. But the severe difficulties involved in deriving the mental from the physical or, even more bizarrely, eliminating the mental altogether, have caused some to seriously investigate Russell's longstanding ideas about the intrinsic nature of physical entities. The resulting microphenomenal approaches, however, are of necessity extremely vague and complicated. Consequently, a macrophenomenal theory of mind may well (...) be a more plausible alternative than microphenomenal ones -- especially if it takes into account the relative aspect of experience and thereby avoids reifying qualia. (shrink)
O ponto de partida deste artigo é a observação intrigante de que Goodman defendeu um ponto de vista fenomenalista em suas obras epistemológicas, e fenomenalista em suas obras sobre estética. Na verdade, seria certamente mais preciso dizer que seu foco era antifisicalista em epistemologia e antifenomenalista na estética. De qualquer maneira, a maioria dos interpretadores teria, espontaneamente, esperado a escolha oposta, de fato mais consistente com as posições tomadas pelos representantes dessas áreas. Contudo, a estratégia de Goodman não é arbitrária, (...) tendo raízes profundas no contexto geral da filosofia no século XX e, em compensação, contribui para esclareces algumas de suas características e motivação. doi: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.5007 / 1808-1711.2011v15n3p439. (shrink)
Phenomenalist dogmatist experientialism (PDE) holds the following thesis: if $S$ has a perceptual experience that $p$ , then $S$ has immediate prima facie evidential justification for the belief that $p$ in virtue of the experience’s phenomenology. The benefits of PDE are that it (a) provides an undemanding view of perceptual justification that allows most of our ordinary perceptual beliefs to be justified, and (b) accommodates two important internalist intuitions, viz. the New Evil Demon Intuition and the Blindsight Intuition. However, in (...) the face of a specific version of the Sellarsian dilemma, PDE is ad hoc. PDE needs to explain what is so distinct about perceptual experience that enables it to fulfill its evidential role without being itself in need of justification. I argue that neither an experience’s presentational phenomenology, nor its phenomenal forcefulness can be used to answer this question, and that prospects look dim for any other phenomenalist account. The subjective distinctness of perceptual experience might instead just stem from a higher-order belief that the experience is a perceptual one, but this will only serve to strengthen the case for externalism: externalism is better suited to provide an account of how we attain justified higher-order beliefs and can use this account to accommodate the Blindsight Intuition. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Robert Brandom argues for a "pragmatic phenomenalist account" of knowledge. On this account, we should understand our notion of justification in accordance will a Sellarsian social practice model, and there is nothing more to the phenomenon of knowledge than the proprieties of takings-as-knowing. I agree with these two claims. But Brandom's proposal is so sketchy that it is unclear how it can deal will a number of much-discussed problems in contemporary epistemology. The main purpose of this article is to (...) develop and defend a pragmatic phenomenalist account of knowledge by resolving those problems. I argue, in particular, that thisaccount can accommodate both the lesson of the Gettier problem and the lesson of reliabilism simultaneously.RÉSUMÉ: Robert Brandom soutient une «théorie pragmatique et phénomenaliste» de la connaissance. Selon cette théorie, nous devons comprendre notre notion de justification d'après un modèle sellarsien de la pratique sociale, et il n'y a rien d'autre dans phénomène de connaissance que la pertinence de «prendre-pour-connaître». Je suis tout à fait d'accord avec ces deux opinions. Mais la thèse de Brandom est si sommaire qu'il n'est pas évident de savoir comment elle peut trailer les nombreux problèmes discutés en épistémologie contemporaine. Le but principal de cet article est de développer et défendre une théorie pragmatique et phénomenaliste de la connaissance en résolvant ces problèmes. Je soutiens, en particulier, que cette théorie peut s'accorder en même temps à lerçon du problème de Gettier et au «fiabilisme». (shrink)
To be an Empiricist with respect to knowledge of the natural world, is to insist that all knowledge of that world is rooted in perceptual experience. All claims which go beyond the deliverances of the senses must, in the end, be justified by, and understood in terms of, relations holding between those claims and sensory data. Crucial to the Empiricist case, therefore, is an account of how perception can be a source of knowledge. How can sensory experiences provide, for the (...) owner of those experiences, information about objects and events which exist independently of the experiences themselves? The following essay scavenges in contemporary sources to arrive at a fresh Empiricist account of perceptual knowledge. There are sufficient parallels with earlier doctrines to call the outcome ‘New Phenomenalism’, but the label is not important. The materials for the thesis have been gathered from several current writers, most notably P.F. Strawson and Jonathan Bennett, but no one of these writers is a proponent of the expounded thesis as a whole. As with a composite photograph, no face completely fits. (shrink)
According to the received view, the philosophy of C.I. Lewis is a form of phenomenalism. The first part of this paper is an argument designed to show that Lewis does not support one of the necessary conditions for ontological phenomenalism; namely, the sense-datum theory. The secondpart is an argument designed to show that Lewis’ theory is incompatible with linguistic phenomenalism, a view according to which there is an equivalence of meaning between physical object statements and sense-data statements. (...) The argument is not merely that terminating judgments are not sense-data statements, but that they cannot be equivalent to objective statements. (shrink)
A phenomenalist philosophy which employs the Principle of Acquaintance (PA) plus the Principle that what exists are the referents of certain meaningful terms, defined by PA, cannot include either universals or particulars in its ontology, but is limited to instances of universals as constituting the range of ontological existents. Universals must be omitted since they are repeatable and, hence, never wholly presented or contained, whereas the objects of direct acquaintance are wholly and exhaustively presented. Furthermore, no entities beyond characters (qualities (...) and relations) are given in direct acquaintance; hence, particulars, too, must be omitted for the phenomenalist who relies on PA. (shrink)
El debate entre representacionistas y fenomenistas acerca del realismo de los qualia parece no avanzar. Este artículo defiende una solución que no es ni representacionista ni fenomenista. En contra de los representacionistas mantenemos que no todo contenido perceptual es reducible a su contenido representacional. En contra de los fenomenistas sostenemos que todo contenido perceptual es contenido intencional. Negamos así la existencia de los qualia, de aquellos, al menos, caracterizados de manera más estándar. Finalmente, mostramos que nuestra propuesta --situada entre el (...) representacionismo y el fenomenismo-- no ha sido explorada, porque se ha asumido, erróneamente, que todo contenido no representacional debe ser contenido no intencional. \\\ The debate between representationalists and phenomenalists on the reality of qualia has stagnated. The present article argues for a solution that is neither representationalist nor phenomenalist. Unlike the representationalists, we hold that not all perceptual content is reducible to its representational content. Against the phenomenalists, we claim that all perceptual content is intentional content. We therefore discard the existence of qualia, at least in their standard guise. Finally, we show that our intermediate proposal has not been explored because until now all non-representational content has been erroneously understood to be non-intentional content. (shrink)
Phenomenalism, Phenomenology and the Question of Time: A Comparative Study of the Theories of Mach, Husserl, and Boltzmann explores comparative analysis of the concept of phenomenology in relation to Mach’s, Boltzmann’s and Husserl’s works on time. It also explores whether or not phenomenology can be naturalized and the scope of its relation to the question of time, experience, physical processes, and irreversibility.
In the early twentieth century Arnold Schoenberg introduced into music an atonal style of polyphonic composition. The artistic success of his and his colleagues' oeuvre insured the wide diffusion of his technique of the twelve tone series. In the period immediately following World War II, the serial technique exercised a dominant influence over advanced musical practice. However, in the decades that followed, composers and theorists alike began to entertain doubts about the relation between the derivation of a composition from a (...) series and its audible musical structure. A reconsideration of the theory of atonal polyphony must rest on rigorous analyses both of the structure of the musical materials, and of the semiotic relation between score and performance, which is constitutive of musical works in the western common practice tradition. ;The aim of this dissertation is to advance the project of founding a reconsideration of the theory of atonal polyphony by constructing the concrete entities needed to provide a phenomenalistic semantic framework for the semiotics of contrapuntal theory. The starting point is Nelson Goodman's logical constructionalism, and, in particular, his theory of signs of Languages of Art, and his phenomenalist system of The Structure of Appearance. Chapter One is a contribution to phenomenalist theory. It introduces a systematic notion of the maximal phenomenal continuity that explicates the concept of the sense content, as it occurs in natural language philosophical discourse. Chapter Two begins with a discussion of the idealizations that are appropriate to a semantics of contrapuntal theory. This discussion results in a systematic notion of the primitive concrete entity of contrapuntal theory, the note, which is shown to be a species of sense content, as defined in Chapter One. By aggregating notes, the construction subsumes under the systematic notion of the sub-polyphony both whole compound polyphonic occurrences and their musically significant melodic and harmonic sub-divisions. The resulting explication of the concrete notions of contrapuntal theory both connects phenomenalist theory with a familiar realm of human experience, and provides a basis for a systematic examination and revision of contrapuntal theory. (shrink)
In der neuen Literatur tiber Leibniz' Spatphilosophie findet man zwei deutlich einander entgegengesetzte Theorien Uber die Realitat des Körpers. Auf der einen Seite gibt es Gesichtspunkte, die ihn mit einer Phänomenalismuslehre verbinden, nach welcher die Körper nichts anderes als koordinierte Perzeptionen unausgedehnter Monaden sind. Auf der anderen Seite gibt es Griinde, die dafur sprechen, daß Leibniz die Auffassung vertreten muß, daß Körper Aggregate von Monaden sind. In diesem Aufsatz suche ich zu zeigen, daß die phanomenalistische Interpretation aufgrund der starken Textzeugnisse, (...) die Leibniz beständig zur Aggregatthese hindrängen, zuriickzuweisen ist. Daruber hinaus weise ich jedoch die verbreitete Auffassung eben der Aggregatthese zurück, d. h. die Meinung, gewisse Vielheiten von Monaden riefen bloß die Illusion, Körper zu sein, hervor, wenn sie durch andere Monaden M falsch perzipiert" werden. Gegen diese Auffassung des falschen Perzipierens ftihre ich ins Feld, daß die Aggregatthese als ein Deutungsversuch der Natur oder des Wesens des Körpers verstanden werden mufi. Wenn Leibniz sagt, Körper seien Aggregate von Monaden, so ist das nicht als blofie Behauptung, gewisse Monaden erschienen anderen Monaden als Körper, zu verstehen, sondern als die These, daß jeder Körper seinem Wesen nach eine Vielheit von Monadenist. (shrink)
Brandom (1994) claims to have succeeded in showing how certain kinds of social practices can institute objective deontic statuses and confer objective conceptual contents on certain performances. This paper proposes a reconstruction of how, on Brandom’s views, this is supposed to come about, and a critical examination of the explicit arguments offered in support for this claim.
Leibniz est-il devenu phénoménaliste pendant ses années dernières ? Contre Furth et Loeb, ce travail rend une réponse négative à cette question. Quoique Leibniz a caressé les idées phénoménalistes, il ne les a jamais vraiment acceptées ; au contraire, il soutient une autre thèse réductioniste, c'est-à-dire que les corps sont des agrégats des monades. Cependant, cette conclusion entraîne ses propres difficultés, car à certains égards, la doctrine phénoménaliste paraît plus satisfaisante que l'option concurrante. On soutient que la répugnance leibnizienne à (...) accepter le phénoménalisme doit s'expliquer par son dessein de concilier la monadologie et la physique. (shrink)
Brandom claims to have succeeded in showing how certain kinds of social practices can institute objective deontic statuses and confer objective conceptual contents on certain performances. This paper proposes a reconstruction of how, on Brandom’s views, this is supposed to come about, and a critical examination of the explicit arguments offered in support for this claim.
This article is a response to Nadeem Hussain’s criticisms of the reading of Afrikan Spir and Nietzsche that I offered in Nietzsche and the Transcendental Tradition.1 My primary goal in writing the book was making sense of Nietzsche’s falsification thesis: his view that all our judgments about the world are false. My approach was initially ahistorical. Since Nietzsche’s own arguments for the thesis were so elliptically formulated, could I come up with any plausible ones myself? Perhaps the thesis was similar (...) to J. L. Mackie’s error theory about moral judgments. Or maybe Nietzsche thought all judgments misdescribe the way judgments predicating.. (shrink)