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Acquaintance and the mind-body problem

In Simone Gozzano & Christopher S. Hill (eds.), New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical. Cambridge University Press. pp. 16-43 (2012)

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  1. Anti-individualism and Phenomenal Content.Darragh Byrne - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (6):1733-1755.
    The paper addresses a prima facie tension between two popular views about concepts. The first is the doctrine that some concepts are constitutively perceptual/experiential, so that they can be possessed only by suitably experienced subjects. This is a classic empiricist theme, but its most conspicuous recent appearance is in literature on phenomenal concepts. The second view is anti-individualism: here, the view that concept possession depends not only on a thinker’s internal states and relations to the concepts’ referents, but also on (...)
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  • Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):e12727.
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  • Two Russellian Arguments for Acquaintance.Matt Duncan - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):461-474.
    Bertrand Russell [1912] argued that we are acquainted with our experiences. Although this conclusion has generated a lot of discussion, very little has been said about Russell's actual arguments for it. This paper aims to remedy that. I start by spelling out two Russellian arguments for acquaintance. Then I show that these arguments cannot both succeed. For if one is sound, the other isn't. Finally, I weigh our options with respect to these arguments, and defend one option in particular. I (...)
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  • We Are Acquainted with Ourselves.Matt Duncan - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2531-2549.
    I am aware of the rain outside, but only in virtue of looking at a weather report. I am aware of my friend, but only because I hear her voice through my phone. Thus, there are some things that I’m aware of, but only indirectly. Many philosophers believe that there are also some things of which I am directly aware. The most plausible candidates are experiences such as pains, tickles, visual sensations, etc. In fact, the philosophical consensus seems to be (...)
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  • Certainty and Our Sense of Acquaintance with Experiences.François Kammerer - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    Why do we tend to think that phenomenal consciousness poses a hard problem? The answer seems to lie in part in the fact that we have the impression that phenomenal experiences are presented to us in a particularly immediate and revelatory way: we have a sense of acquaintance with our experiences. Recent views have offered resources to explain such persisting impression, by hypothesizing that the very design of our cognitive systems inevitably leads us to hold beliefs about our own experiences (...)
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  • A Dilemma About the Mental.Guy Dove & Andreas Elpidorou - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 1.
    Physicalism demands an explication of what it means for something to be physical. But the most popular way of providing one—viz., characterizing the physical in terms of the postulates of a scientifically derived physical theory—is met with serious trouble. Proponents of physicalism can either appeal to current physical theory or to some future physical theory (preferably an ideal and complete one). Neither option is promising: currentism almost assuredly renders physicalism false and futurism appears to render it indeterminate or trivial. The (...)
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  • Quotational Higher-Order Thought Theory.Sam Coleman - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2705-2733.
    Due to their reliance on constitutive higher-order representing to generate the qualities of which the subject is consciously aware, I argue that the major existing higher-order representational theories of consciousness insulate us from our first-order sensory states. In fact on these views we are never properly conscious of our sensory states at all. In their place I offer a new higher-order theory of consciousness, with a view to making us suitably intimate with our sensory states in experience. This theory relies (...)
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  • The Illusion of Conscious Experience.François Kammerer - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Illusionism about phenomenal consciousness is the thesis that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, even though it seems to exist. This thesis is widely judged to be uniquely counterintuitive: the idea that consciousness is an illusion strikes most people as absurd, and seems almost impossible to contemplate in earnest. Defenders of illusionism should be able to explain the apparent absurdity of their own thesis, within their own framework. However, this is no trivial task: arguably, none of the illusionist theories currently on (...)
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  • Does the Explanatory Gap Rest on a Fallacy?François Kammerer - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (4):649-667.
    Many philosophers have tried to defend physicalism concerning phenomenal consciousness, by explaining dualist intuitions within a purely physicalist framework. One of the most common strategies to do so consists in interpreting the alleged “explanatory gap” between phenomenal states and physical states as resulting from a fallacy, or a cognitive illusion. In this paper, I argue that the explanatory gap does not rest on a fallacy or a cognitive illusion. This does not imply the falsity of physicalism, but it has consequences (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Desire.Jared Peterson - 2019 - Synthese 196 (9):3655-3676.
    This paper develops a novel puzzle about desire consisting of three independently plausible but jointly inconsistent propositions: all desires are dispositional states, we have privileged access to some of our desires, and we do not have privileged access to any dispositional state. Proponents of the view that all desires are dispositional states might think the most promising way out of this puzzle is to deny. I argue, however, that such attempts fail because the most plausible accounts of self-knowledge of desires (...)
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  • Modal Rationalism and the Demonstrative Reply to the Scrutability Argument Against Physicalism.Gabriel Oak Rabin - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):2107-2134.
    According to the scrutability argument against physicalism, an a priori gap between the physical and conscious experience entails a lack of necessitation and the falsity of physicalism. This paper investigates the crucial premise of the scrutability argument: the inference from an a priori gap to a lack of necessitation. This premise gets its support from modal rationalism, according to which there are important, potentially constitutive, connections between a priori justification and metaphysical modality. I argue against the strong form of modal (...)
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  • Mind-Body Meets Metaethics: A Moral Concept Strategy.Helen Yetter-Chappell & Richard Yetter Chappell - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):865-878.
    The aim of this paper is to assess the relationship between anti-physicalist arguments in the philosophy of mind and anti-naturalist arguments in metaethics, and to show how the literature on the mind-body problem can inform metaethics. Among the questions we will consider are: (1) whether a moral parallel of the knowledge argument can be constructed to create trouble for naturalists, (2) the relationship between such a "Moral Knowledge Argument" and the familiar Open Question Argument, and (3) how naturalists can respond (...)
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  • What We Can Learn About Phenomenal Concepts From Wittgenstein’s Private Language.Roberto Sá Pereira - 2016 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 5 (2):125-152.
    This paper is both systematic and historical in nature. From a historical viewpoint, I aim to show that to establish Wittgenstein’s claim that “an ‘inner process’ stands in need of outward criteria” there is an enthymeme in Wittgenstein’s private language argument overlooked in the literature, namely Wittgenstein’s suggestion that both perceptual and bodily experiences are _transparent_ in the relevant sense that one cannot point to a mental state and wonder “What is that?” From a systematic viewpoint, I aim to show (...)
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  • Physicalism and Phenomenal Concepts.Erhan Demircioglu - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):257-277.
    Frank Jackson’s famous Knowledge Argument moves from the premise that complete physical knowledge is not complete knowledge about experiences to the falsity of physicalism. In recent years, a consensus has emerged that the credibility of this and other well-known anti-physicalist arguments can be undermined by allowing that we possess a special category of concepts of experiences, phenomenal concepts, which are conceptually independent from physical/functional concepts. It is held by a large number of philosophers that since the conceptual independence of phenomenal (...)
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  • How to Be a Type-C Physicalist.Adrian Boutel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):301-320.
    This paper advances a version of physicalism which reconciles the “a priori entailment thesis” (APET) with the analytic independence of our phenomenal and physical vocabularies. The APET is the claim that, if physicalism is true, the complete truths of physics imply every other truth a priori. If so, “cosmic hermeneutics” is possible: a demon having only complete knowledge of physics could deduce every truth about the world. Analytic independence is a popular physicalist explanation for the apparent “epistemic gaps” between phenomenal (...)
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  • Real Acquaintance and Physicalism.Philip Goff - 2015 - In Paul Coates & Sam Coleman (eds.), Phenomenal Qualities: Sense, Perception and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
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  • Solely Generic Phenomenology.Ned Block - 2015 - Open MIND 2015.
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  • Are Phenomenal Concepts Perspectival?Andreas Elpidorou - 2012 - Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (1):43-53.
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  • In Defense of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy1.Katalin Balog - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):1-23.
    During the last two decades, several different anti-physicalist arguments based on an epistemic or conceptual gap between the phenomenal and the physical have been proposed. The most promising physicalist line of defense in the face of these arguments – the Phenomenal Concept Strategy – is based on the idea that these epistemic and conceptual gaps can be explained by appeal to the nature of phenomenal concepts rather than the nature of non-physical phenomenal properties. Phenomenal concepts, on this proposal, involve unique (...)
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  • Revelation and Physicalism.Kelly Trogdon - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2345-2366.
    Discussion of the challenge that acquaintance with the nature of experience poses to physicalism.
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  • The Recent Renaissance of Acquaintance.Thomas Raleigh - 2019 - In Thomas Raleigh & Jonathan Knowles (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    This is the introductory essay to the collection of essays: 'Acquaintance: New Essays' (eds. Knowles & Raleigh, forthcoming, OUP). In this essay I provide some historical background to the concept of acquaintance. I examine various Russellian theses about acquaintance that contemporary acquaintance theorists may wish to reject. I consider a number of questions that acquaintance theorists face. I provide a survey of current debates in philosophy where acquaintance has recently been invoked. And I also provide brief summaries of the other (...)
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  • Panqualityism, Awareness and the Explanatory Gap.Jakub Mihálik - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-23.
    According to panqualityism, a form of Russellian monism defended by Sam Coleman and others, consciousness is grounded in fundamental qualities, i.e. unexperienced qualia. Despite panqualityism’s significant promise, according to David Chalmers panqualityism fails as a theory of consciousness since the reductive approach to awareness of qualities it proposes fails to account for the specific phenomenology associated with awareness. I investigate Coleman’s reasoning against this kind of phenomenology and conclude that he successfully shows that its existence is controversial, and so Chalmers’s (...)
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  • Imagining Experiences.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2016 - Noûs:561-586.
    It is often held that in imagining experiences we exploit a special imagistic way of representing mentality—one that enables us to think about mental states in terms of what it is like to have them. According to some, when this way of thinking about the mind is paired with more objective means, an explanatory gap between the phenomenal and physical features of mental states arises. This paper advances a view along those lines, but with a twist. What many take for (...)
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  • Embodied Conceivability: How to Keep the Phenomenal Concept Strategy Grounded.Guy Dove & Andreas Elpidorou - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (5):580-611.
    The Phenomenal Concept Strategy offers the physicalist perhaps the most promising means of explaining why the connection between mental facts and physical facts appears to be contingent even though it is not. In this article, we show that the large body of evidence suggesting that our concepts are often embodied and grounded in sensorimotor systems speaks against standard forms of the PCS. We argue, nevertheless, that it is possible to formulate a novel version of the PCS that is thoroughly in (...)
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  • Dissolving Type‐B Physicalism.Helen Yetter-Chappell - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):469-498.
    The majority of physicalists are type-B physicalists – believing that the phenomenal-physical truths are only knowable a posteriori. This paper aims to show why this view is misguided. The strategy is to design an agent who (1) has full general physical knowledge, (2) has phenomenal concepts, and yet (3) is wired such that she would be in a position to immediately work out the phenomenal-physical truths. I argue that this derivation yields a priori knowledge. The possibility of such a creature (...)
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  • Luminosity Guaranteed.Wolfgang Barz - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):480-496.
    This article aims to show that Williamson's anti-luminosity argument does not succeed if we presuppose a constitutive connection between the phenomenal and the doxastic. In contrast to other luminists, however, my strategy is not to critically focus on the refined safety condition in terms of degrees of confidence that anti-luminists typically use in this context. Instead, I will argue that, given a certain conception of what Chalmers calls ‘direct phenomenal concepts,’ luminosity is guaranteed even if the refined safety condition in (...)
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  • A Posteriori Physicalism and the Discrimination of Properties.Philip Woodward - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (1):121-143.
    According to a posteriori physicalism, phenomenal properties are physical properties, despite the unbridgeable cognitive gap that holds between phenomenal concepts and physical concepts. Current debates about a posteriori physicalism turn on what I call “the perspicuity principle”: it is impossible for a suitably astute cognizer to possess concepts of a certain sort—viz., narrow concepts—without being able to tell whether the referents of those concepts are the same or different. The perspicuity principle tends to strike a posteriori physicalists as implausibly rationalistic; (...)
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  • The Sense of Incredibility in Ethics.Nicholas Laskowski - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):93-115.
    It is often said that normative properties are “just too different” to reduce to other kinds of properties. This suggests that many philosophers find it difficult to believe reductive theses in ethics. I argue that the distinctiveness of the normative concepts we use in thinking about reductive theses offers a more promising explanation of this psychological phenomenon than the falsity of Reductive Realism. To identify the distinctiveness of normative concepts, I use resources from familiar Hybrid views of normative language and (...)
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  • Circularity in the Conditional Analysis of Phenomenal Concepts.Helen Yetter-Chappell - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):553-572.
    The conditional analysis of phenomenal concepts purports to give physicalists a way of understanding phenomenal concepts that will allow them to (1) accept the zombie intuition, (2) accept that conceivability is generally a good guide to possibility, and yet (3) reject the conclusion that zombies are metaphysically possible. It does this by positing that whether phenomenal concepts refer to physical or nonphysical states depends on what the actual world is like. In this paper, I offer support for the Chalmers/Alter objection (...)
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  • How Can You Be so Sure? Illusionism and the Obviousness of Phenomenal Consciousness.François Kammerer - manuscript
    Illusionism is the thesis that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, but merely seems to exist. Many opponents to the thesis take it to be obviously false. David Chalmers has articulated this reaction to illusionism in terms of a “Moorean” argument against illusionism. This argument contends that illusionism is false, because it is obviously true that we have phenomenal experiences. I argue that this argument fails, by showing that its defenders cannot maintain that its crucial premise (properly understood) has the kind (...)
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  • Renewed Acquaintance.Brie Gertler - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press. pp. 89-123.
    I elaborate and defend a set of metaphysical and epistemic claims that comprise what I call the acquaintance approach to introspective knowledge of the phenomenal qualities of experience. The hallmark of this approach is the thesis that, in some introspective judgments about experience, (phenomenal) reality intersects with the epistemic, that is, with the subject’s grasp of that reality. In Section 1 of the paper I outline the acquaintance approach by drawing on its Russellian lineage. A more detailed picture of the (...)
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  • A Dualist Account of Phenomenal Concepts.Martina Fürst - 2014 - In Andrea Lavazza & Howard Robinson (eds.), Contemporary Dualism. A Defense. 112-135. Routledge. pp. 112-135.
    The phenomenal concept strategy is considered a powerful response to anti-physicalist arguments. This physicalist strategy aims to provide a satisfactory account of dualist intuitions without being committed to ontological dualist conclusions. In this paper I first argue that physicalist accounts of phenomenal concepts fail to explain their cognitive role. Second, I develop an encapsulation account of phenomenal concepts that best explains their particularities. Finally, I argue that the encapsulation account, which features self-representing experiences, implies non-physical referents. Therefore, the account of (...)
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  • David Chalmers on Mind and Consciousness.Richard Brown - 2014 - In Andrew Bailey (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: The Key Thinkers. Continuum. pp. 283-292.
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  • Hard, Harder, Hardest.Katalin Balog - 2020 - In Arthur Sullivan (ed.), Sensations, Thoughts, and Language: Essays in Honor of Brian Loar. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 265-289.
    In this paper I discuss three problems of consciousness. The first two have been dubbed the “Hard Problem” and the “Harder Problem”. The third problem has received less attention and I will call it the “Hardest Problem”. The Hard Problem is a metaphysical and explanatory problem concerning the nature of conscious states. The Harder Problem is epistemological, and it concerns whether we can know, given physicalism, whether some creature physically different from us is conscious. The Hardest Problem is a problem (...)
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  • Qualia: The Knowledge Argument.Martine Nida-Rumelin - 2002 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Revelation and Phenomenal Relations.Antonin Broi - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (278):22-42.
    Revelation, or the view that the essence of phenomenal properties is presented to us, is as intuitively attractive as it is controversial. It is notably at the core of defences of anti-physicalism. I propose in this paper a new argument against Revelation. It is usually accepted that low-level sensory phenomenal properties, like phenomenal red, loudness or brightness, stand in relation of similarity and quantity. Furthermore, these similarity and quantitative relations are taken to be internal, that is, to be fixed by (...)
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  • A Posteriori Physicalism and Introspection.Andreas Elpidorou - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1):474-500.
    Introspection presents our phenomenal states in a manner otherwise than physical. This observation is often thought to amount to an argument against physicalism: if introspection presents phenomenal states as they essentially are, then phenomenal states cannot be physical states, for we are not introspectively aware of phenomenal states as physical states. In this article, I examine whether this argument threatens a posteriori physicalism. I argue that as along as proponents of a posteriori physicalism maintain that phenomenal concepts present the nature (...)
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  • How Physicalists Can—and Cannot—Explain the Seeming “Absurdity” of Physicalism.Pär Sundström - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (3):681-703.
    According to a widely held physicalist view, consciousness is identical with some physical or functional phenomenon just as liquidity is identical with loose molecular connection. To many of us, this claim about consciousness seems more problematic than the claim about liquidity. To many—including many physicalists—the identification of consciousness with some physical phenomenon even seems “absurd” or “crazy”. A full defence of physicalism should explain why the allegedly correct hypothesis comes across this way. If physicalism is true and we have reason (...)
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  • Liberal Phenomenal Concepts.Benjamin D. Storer - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (2):95-111.
    In this paper, I offer a third way in debates over the scope of phenomenal consciousness, in the form of a novel synthesis of liberal and conservative introspective observations. My primary claim i...
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  • Introspection.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Can You Believe It? Illusionism and the Illusion Meta-Problem.François Kammerer - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (1):44-67.
    Illusionism about consciousness is the thesis that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, but merely seems to exist. Embracing illusionism presents the theoretical advantage that one does not need to explain how consciousness arises from purely physical brains anymore, but only to explain why consciousness seems to exist while it does not. As Keith Frankish puts it, illusionism replaces the “hard problem of consciousness” with the “illusion problem.” However, a satisfying version of illusionism has to explain not only why the illusion (...)
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  • Illusionism's Discontent.Balog Katalin - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):40-51.
    Frankish positions his view, illusionism about qualia (a.k.a. eliminativist physicalism), in opposition to what he calls radical realism (dualism and neutral monism) and conservative realism (a.k.a. non-eliminativist physicalism). Against radical realism, he upholds physicalism. But he goes along with key premises of the Gap Arguments for radical realism, namely, 1) that epistemic/explanatory gaps exist between the physical and the phenomenal, and 2) that every truth should be perspicuously explicable from the fundamental truth about the world; and he concludes that because (...)
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  • Theory Dualism and the Metalogic of Mind-Body Problems.T. Parent - 2015 - In Christopher Daly (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods. Palgrave. pp. 497-526.
    The paper defends the philosophical method of "regimentation" by example, especially in relation to the theory of mind. The starting point is the Place-Smart after-image argument: A green after-image will not be located outside the skull, but if we cracked open your skull, we won't find anything green in there either. (If we did, you'd have some disturbing medical news.) So the after-image seems not to be in physical space, suggesting that it is non-physical. In response, I argue that the (...)
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  • Infallibility, Acquaintance, and Phenomenal Concepts.Wolfgang Barz - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (2):139-168.
    In recent literature, there is a strong tendency to endorse the following argument: There are particular judgments about one's current phenomenal experiences that are infallible; if there are particular judgments about one's current phenomenal experiences that are infallible, then the infallibility of those judgments is due to the relation of acquaintance; therefore, acquaintance explains why those particular judgments about one's current phenomenal experiences are infallible. The aim of this paper is to examine critically both the first and the second premise (...)
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  • The Cognitive Significance of Phenomenal Knowledge.Bénédicte Veillet - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2955-2974.
    Knowledge of what it’s like to have perceptual experiences, e.g. of what it’s like to see red or taste Turkish coffee, is phenomenal knowledge; and it is knowledge the substantial or significant nature of which is widely assumed to pose a challenge for physicalism. Call this the New Challenge to physicalism. The goal of this paper is to take a closer look at the New Challenge. I show, first, that it is surprisingly difficult to spell out clearly and neutrally what (...)
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  • Conscious Experiences as Ultimate Seemings: Renewing the Phenomenal Concept Strategy.François Kammerer - 2016 - Argumenta 1 (2):233-243.
    The Phenomenal Concept Strategy is a popular strategy used to support physicalism in the realm of conscious experience. This Strategy accounts for dualist intuitions but uses the ways in which we think about our experiences to explain these intuitions in a physicalist framework, without any appeal to ontological dualism. In this paper, I will raise two issues related to the currently available versions of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy. First, most of the theories belonging to the Phenomenal Concept Strategy posit that (...)
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  • Is the Mystery an Illusion? Papineau on the Problem of Consciousness.Pär Sundström - 2008 - Synthese 163 (2):133-143.
    A number of philosophers have recently argued that consciousness properties are identical with some set of physical or functional properties and that we can explain away the frequently felt puzzlement about this claim as a delusion or confusion generated by our different ways of apprehending or thinking about consciousness. This paper examines David Papineau’s influential version of this view. According to Papineau, the difference between our “phenomenal” and “material” concepts of consciousness produces an instinctive but erroneous intuition that these concepts (...)
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  • Mind, Modality, and Meaning: Toward a Rationalist Physicalism.Gabriel Oak Rabin - 2013 - Dissertation, University of California Los Angeles
    This dissertation contains four independent essays addressing a cluster of related topics in the philosophy of mind. Chapter 1: “Fundamentality Physicalism” argues that physicalism can usefully be conceived of as a thesis about fundamentality. The chapter explores a variety of other potential formulations of physicalism (particularly modal formulations), contrasts fundamentality physicalism with these theses, and offers reasons to prefer fundamentality physicalism over these rivals. Chapter 2:“Modal Rationalism and the Demonstrative Reply to the Master Argument Against Physicalism” introduces the Master Argument (...)
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  • Disjunctivism.Berit Brogaard - 2010 - Oxford Annotated Bibliographies Online.
    Naive realism is one of the oldest theories of perception. To a first approximation, naive realism is the view that perception is a direct relation between a subject and an object. Many historical philosophers (from Locke to Russell) argued that naive realism must be rejected on the grounds that hallucinations are perceptual experiences without an object. Contemporary philosophers have resurrected the theory by insisting that genuine cases of perception have a different structure or a different metaphysical status than non-genuine ones. (...)
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  • Knowledge by Acquaintance Vs. Description.Ali Hasan & Richard Fumerton - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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