Reference : Perceptual Content, Phenomenal Contrasts, and Externalism
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Philosophy & ethics
Perceptual Content, Phenomenal Contrasts, and Externalism
Raleigh, Thomas mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Humanities (DHUM) >]
Journal of Philosophy
F.J.E. Woodbridge : W.T. Bush
United States
[en] According to Sparse views of perceptual content, the phenomenal character of perceptual experience is exhausted by the experiential presentation of ‘low-level’ properties such as (in the case of vision) shapes, colors, and textures Whereas, according to Rich views of perceptual content, the phenomenal character of perceptual experience can also sometimes involve experiencing ‘high-level’ properties such as natural kinds, artefactual kinds, causal relations, linguistic meanings, and moral properties. An important dialectical tool in the debate between Rich and Sparse theorists is the so-called ‘method of phenomenal contrast’. I explore how this method of phenomenal contrast interacts with the sort of content-externalism made familiar by Putnam. I show that the possibility of Twin Earth style cases places important restrictions on the range of properties that the method of phenomenal contrast could plausibly apply to. Moreover, these restrictions would apply to some paradigmatically low-level properties as well as to some of the frequently advanced high-level properties. I also draw some general lessons about the different ways one might conceive of the relation between phenomenal character and representational content.

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