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Wittgenstein and Qualia

Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):73-115 (2007)

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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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  • Can Representationism Explain How Attention Affects Appearances?Sebastian Watzl - 2019 - In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Themes from Block. Boston, USA: The MIT Press. pp. 481-607.
    Recent psychological research shows that attention affects appearances. An “attended item looks bigger, faster, earlier, more saturated, stripier.” (Block 2010, p. 41). What is the significance of these findings? Ned Block has argued that they undermine representationism, roughly the view that the phenomenal character of perception is determined by its representational content. My first goal in this paper is to show that Block’s argument has the structure of a Problem of Arbitrary Phenomenal Variation and that it improves on other instances (...)
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  • Themes From Ned Block's Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness (MIT, 2019).Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.) - 2019
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  • How Can Brains in Vats Experience a Spatial World? A Puzzle for Internalists.Adam Pautz - 2019 - In Blockheads!
    In this chapter, Pautz raises a puzzle about spatial experience for phenomenal internalists like Ned Block. If an accidental, lifelong brain-in-the-void (BIV) should have all the same experiences as you, it would have an experience as of items having various shapes, and be able to acquire concepts of those shapes, despite being cut off from real things with the shapes. Internalists cannot explain this by saying that BIV is presented with Peacocke-style visual field regions having various shapes, because these would (...)
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  • Rethinking Naive Realism.Ori Beck - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):607-633.
    Perceptions are externally-directed—they present us with a mind-independent reality, and thus contribute to our abilities to think about this reality, and to know what is objectively the case. But perceptions are also internally-dependent—their phenomenologies depend on the neuro-computational properties of the subject. A good theory of perception must account for both these facts. But naive realism has been criticized for failing to accommodate internal-dependence. This paper evaluates and responds to this criticism. It first argues that a certain version of naive (...)
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  • Turning the Zombie on its Head.Amir Horowitz - 2009 - Synthese 170 (1):191 - 210.
    This paper suggests a critique of the zombie argument that bypasses the need to decide on the truth of its main premises, and specifically, avoids the need to enter the battlefield of whether conceivability entails metaphysical possibility. It is argued that if we accept, as the zombie argument’s supporters would urge us, the assumption that an ideal reasoner can conceive of a complete physical description of the world without conceiving of qualia, the general principle that conceivability entails metaphysical possibility, and (...)
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  • Attention and Mental Paint1.Ned Block - 2010 - Philosophical Issues 20 (1):23-63.
    Much of recent philosophy of perception is oriented towards accounting for the phenomenal character of perception—what it is like to perceive—in a non-mentalistic way—that is, without appealing to mental objects or mental qualities. In opposition to such views, I claim that the phenomenal character of perception of a red round object cannot be explained by or reduced to direct awareness of the object, its redness and roundness—or representation of such objects and qualities. Qualities of perception that are not captured by (...)
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  • Inverted Qualia.Alex Byrne - 2004 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Qualia inversion thought experiments are ubiquitous in contemporary philosophy of mind. The most popular kind is one or another variant of Locke's hypothetical case of.
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  • General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.
    Philosophy is unsolved. My forthcoming book sets forth the final resolution, with some exceptions, to this 2,500 year crisis. I am currently close to finishing page 983.
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  • Space Perception, Visual Dissonance and the Fate of Standard Representationalism.Farid Masrour - 2017 - Noûs 51 (3):565-593.
    This paper argues that a common form of representationalism has trouble accommodating empirical findings about visual space perception. Vision science tells us that the visual system systematically gives rise to different experiences of the same spatial property. This, combined with a naturalistic account of content, suggests that the same spatial property can have different veridical looks. I use this to argue that a common form of representationalism about spatial experience must be rejected. I conclude by considering alternatives to this view.
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  • From Inverted Spectra to Colorless Qualia: A Wittgensteinian Critique.William H. Brenner - 2015 - Philosophical Investigations 38 (4):360-381.
    This is terribly hard, Thouless, I'm sorry. I have thought over all this for years. … It is now as if we had ploughed furrows in different parts of a field. There is a lot left to do. Judging from their writings, most contemporary analytic philosophers have not been persuaded that “the inverted spectrum problem” is – as Wittgenstein maintained – really a conceptual puzzle calling for dissolution, rather than a straight problem calling for a solution. In this paper, I (...)
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  • On the Asymmetry Between Twin Earth and Inverted Earth.Hagit Benbaji - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):137-150.
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  • Why Don’T Synaesthetic Colours Adapt Away?Dave Ward - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (1):123-138.
    Synaesthetes persistently perceive certain stimuli as systematically accompanied by illusory colours, even though they know those colours to be illusory. This appears to contrast with cases where a subject’s colour vision adapts to systematic distortions caused by wearing coloured goggles. Given that each case involves longstanding systematic distortion of colour perception that the subjects recognize as such, how can a theory of colour perception explain the fact that perceptual adaptation occurs in one case but not the other? I argue that (...)
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  • Phenomenal Consciousness, Representational Content and Cognitive Access: A Missing Link Between Two Debates.Hilla Jacobson - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (4):1021-1035.
    Two debates loom large in current discussions on phenomenal consciousness. One debate concerns the relation between phenomenal character and representational content. Representationalism affirms, whereas “content separatism” denies, that phenomenal character is exhausted by representational content. Another debate concerns the relation between phenomenal consciousness and cognitive access. “Access separatism” affirms, whereas, e.g., the global workspace model denies, that there are phenomenally conscious states that are not cognitively accessed. I will argue that the two separatist views are related. Access separatism supports content (...)
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  • The Geometry of Visual Space and the Nature of Visual Experience.Farid Masrour - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1813-1832.
    Some recently popular accounts of perception account for the phenomenal character of perceptual experience in terms of the qualities of objects. My concern in this paper is with naturalistic versions of such a phenomenal externalist view. Focusing on visual spatial perception, I argue that naturalistic phenomenal externalism conflicts with a number of scientific facts about the geometrical characteristics of visual spatial experience.
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  • The Needlessness of Adverbialism, Attributeism and its Compatibilty with Cognitive Science.Hilla Jacobson & Hilary Putnam - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):555-570.
    Although adverbialism is not given much attention in current discussions of phenomenal states, it remains of interest to philosophers who reject the representationalist view of such states, in suggesting an alternative to a problematic ‘act-property’ conception. We discuss adverbialism and the formalization Tye once offered for it, and criticize the semantics he proposed for this formalization. Our central claim is that Tye’s ontological purposes could have been met by a more minimal view, which we dub “attributeism”. We then show that (...)
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  • Blockheads! Essays on Ned Block’s Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness, Eds Adam Pautz and Daniel Stoljar.Ian Phillips - forthcoming - Mind.
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  • What is It Like to Be the Metaphysical Subject? An Essay on Early Wittgenstein, Our Epistemic Position, and Beyond.Konrad Werner - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (3):921-946.
    I argue that Ludwig Wittgenstein’s idea of the metaphysical subject sheds new light on subjective qualities of experience. In this article I draw first of all on the interpretations provided by Michael Kremer and James Conant. Subsequently, I conclude that “what is it like” means primarily “what is it like to see myself as the metaphysical subject”.
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  • Two Conceptions of Phenomenology.Ori Beck - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19:1-17.
    The phenomenal particularity thesis says that if a mind-independent particular is consciously perceived in a given perception, that particular is among the constituents of the perception’s phenomenology. Martin, Campbell, Gomes and French and others defend this thesis. Against them are Mehta, Montague, Schellenberg and others, who have produced strong arguments that the phenomenal particularity thesis is false. Unfortunately, neither side has persuaded the other, and it seems that the debate between them is now at an impasse. This paper aims to (...)
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  • Ned Block, Wittgenstein, and the Inverted Spectrum.John V. Canfield - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (4):691-712.
    In ‘Wittgenstein and Qualia’ Ned Block argues for the existence of inverted spectra and those ineffable things, qualia. The essence of his discussion is a would-be proof, presented through a series of pictures, of the possible existence of an inverted spectrum. His argument appeals to some remarks by Wittgenstein which, Block holds, commit the former to a certain ‘dangerous scenario’ wherein inverted spectra, and consequently qualia live and breath. I hold that a key premise of this proof is incoherent. Furthermore, (...)
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