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Representationalism about consciousness

In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell. pp. 261-276 (2007)

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  1. Consciousness is Underived Intentionality.David Bourget - 2010 - Noûs 44 (1):32 - 58.
    Representationalists argue that phenomenal states are intentional states of a special kind. This paper offers an account of the kind of intentional state phenomenal states are: I argue that they are underived intentional states. This account of phenomenal states is equivalent to two theses: first, all possible phenomenal states are underived intentional states; second, all possible underived intentional states are phenomenal states. I clarify these claims and argue for each of them. I also address objections which touch on a range (...)
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  • Implications of Intensional Perceptual Ascriptions for Relationalism, Disjunctivism, and Representationalism About Perceptual Experience.David Bourget - 2017 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):381-408.
    This paper aims to shed new light on certain philosophical theories of perceptual experience by examining the semantics of perceptual ascriptions such as “Jones sees an apple.” I start with the assumption, recently defended elsewhere, that perceptual ascriptions lend themselves to intensional readings. In the first part of the paper, I defend three theses regarding such readings: I) intensional readings of perceptual ascriptions ascribe phenomenal properties, II) perceptual verbs are not ambiguous between intensional and extensional readings, and III) intensional perceptual (...)
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  • Représentationnalisme Et Attention.Émile Thalabard - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (3):551-586.
    Dans cet article, je défends le représentationnalisme contre l’objection de la saillance phénoménale, développée notamment par Chalmers, Nickel et Speaks. Selon mon approche, les déplacements couverts de l’attention améliorent la résolution des représentations perceptives au point de fixation. Cette amélioration locale permet d’expliquer l’effet de saillance, typique de l’attention focale, et de préserver l’intuition représentationnaliste.This article is a defence of representationalism against the objection of phenomenal saliency, which Chalmers, Nickel and Speaks have developed. According to my approach, covert shifts of (...)
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  • Representationalism and Sensory Modalities: An Argument for Intermodal Representationalism.David Bourget - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (3):251-268.
    Intermodal representationalists hold that the phenomenal characters of experiences are fully determined by their contents. In contrast, intramodal representationalists hold that the phenomenal characters of experiences are determined by their contents together with their intentional modes or manners of representation, which are nonrepresentational features corresponding roughly to the sensory modalities. This paper discusses a kind of experience that provides evidence for an intermodal representationalist view: intermodal experiences, experiences that unify experiences in different modalities. I argue that such experiences are much (...)
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  • Some Reflections on Husserlian Intentionality, Intentionalism, and Non-Propositional Contents.Corijn van Mazijk - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):499-517.
    This paper discusses Husserl’s theory of intentionality and compares it to contemporary debates about intentionalism. I first show to what extent such a comparison could be meaningful. I then outline the structure of intentionality as found in Ideas I. My main claims are that – in contrast with intentionalism – intentionality for Husserl covers just a region of conscious contents; that it is essentially a relation between act-processes and presented content; and that the side of act-processes contains non-representational contents. In (...)
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  • Consciousness and Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Philosophers traditionally recognize two main features of mental states: intentionality and phenomenal consciousness. To a first approximation, intentionality is the aboutness of mental states, and phenomenal consciousness is the felt, experiential, qualitative, or "what it's like" aspect of mental states. In the past few decades, these features have been widely assumed to be distinct and independent. But several philosophers have recently challenged this assumption, arguing that intentionality and consciousness are importantly related. This article overviews the key views on the relationship (...)
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  • The Representational Theory of Consciousness.David Bourget - 2010 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    A satisfactory solution to the problem of consciousness would take the form of a simple yet fully general model that specifies the precise conditions under which any given state of consciousness occurs. Science has uncovered numerous correlations between consciousness and neural activity, but it has not yet come anywhere close to this. We are still looking for the Newtonian laws of consciousness. -/- One of the main difficulties with consciousness is that we lack a language in which to formulate illuminating (...)
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  • Expérience perceptuelle et contenus multiples.Arnaud Dewalque - 2011 - Bulletin d'Analyse Phénoménologique.
    Mon intention est de discuter quelques aspects du débat actuel sur la perception qui oppose les partisans du conceptualisme (essentiellement John McDowell et Bill Brewer) aux partisans du non-conceptualisme (Fred Dretske, Gareth Evans, Christopher Peacocke, Michael Tye, Tim Crane, José Luis Bermúdez, Adina Roskies et d?autres). Je commencerai par fixer le cadre théorique du débat, par clarifier son enjeu et par retracer brièvement son origine. Ensuite, je mettrai en évidence une difficulté majeure de la position conceptualiste. Pour finir, j?examinerai l?une (...)
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  • The Transparencies and the Opacities of Experience. Intentionalism, Phenomenal Character, and Moods.Davide Bordini - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Milan
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  • Intentionalism About Moods.Angela Mendelovici - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):126-136.
    According to intentionalism, phenomenal properties are identical to, supervenient on, or determined by representational properties. Intentionalism faces a special challenge when it comes to accounting for the phenomenal character of moods. First, it seems that no intentionalist treatment of moods can capture their apparently undirected phenomenology. Second, it seems that even if we can come up with a viable intentionalist account of moods, we would not be able to motivate it in some of the same kinds of ways that intentionalism (...)
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  • Representationalism, Perceptual Distortion and the Limits of Phenomenal Concepts.David Bourget - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):16-36.
    This paper replies to objections from perceptual distortion against the representationalist thesis that the phenomenal characters of experiences supervene on their intentional contents. It has been argued that some pairs of distorted and undistorted experiences share contents without sharing phenomenal characters, which is incompatible with the supervenience thesis. In reply, I suggest that such cases are not counterexamples to the representationalist thesis because the contents of distorted experiences are always impoverished in some way compared to those of normal experiences. This (...)
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  • The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding.David Bourget - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):285-318.
    One sometimes believes a proposition without grasping it. For example, a complete achromat might believe that ripe tomatoes are red without grasping this proposition. My aim in this paper is to shed light on the difference between merely believing a proposition and grasping it. I focus on two possible theories of grasping: the inferential theory, which explains grasping in terms of inferential role, and the phenomenal theory, which explains grasping in terms of phenomenal consciousness. I argue that the phenomenal theory (...)
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  • Actual Consciousness: Database, Physicalities, Theory, Criteria, No Unique Mystery.Ted Honderich - 2015 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 76:271-300.
    Is disagreement about consciousness largely owed to no adequate initial clarification of the subject, to people in fact answering different questions clarified as actual consciousness. Philosophical method like the scientific method includes transition from the figurative to literal theory or analysis. A new theory will also satisfy various criteria not satisfied by many existing theories. The objective physical world has specifiable general characteristics including spatiality, lawfulness, being in science, connections with perception, and so on. Actualism, the literal theory or analysis (...)
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  • Why Are Some Phenomenal Experiences 'Vivid' and Others 'Faint'? Representationalism, Imagery, and Cognitive Phenomenology.David Bourget - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (4):673-687.
    One central brand of representationalism claims that the specific phenomenal character of an experience is fully determined by its content. A challenge for this view is that cognitive and perceptual experiences sometimes seem to have the same representational content while differing in phenomenal character. In particular, it might seem that one can have faint imagery experiences or conscious thoughts with the same contents as vivid perceptual experiences. This paper argues that such cases never arise, and that they are probably metaphysically (...)
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  • La Théorie Représentationnelle de la Conscience Phénoménale Et le Problème des Apparences Visuelles.Paul Bernier - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (1):1-23.
    Selon la théorie représentationnelle de la conscience phénoménale , le caractère phénoménal d’une expérience consciente serait épuisé par son contenu représentationnel. Certaines remarques de Christopher Peacocke soulèvent un problème majeur pour la TRCP. Dans son livre Consciousness , où il défend une version de la TRCP, Christopher Hill propose une solution à ce problème, selon laquelle les qualia visuels seraient des «apparences visuelles» conçues comme des propriétés relationnelles d’objets externes. Je soulève deux problèmes auxquels la solution de Hill doit faire (...)
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  • Phenomenal Intentionality.David Bourget & Angela Mendelovici - 2016 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Phenomenal intentionality is a kind of intentionality, or aboutness, that is grounded in phenomenal consciousness, the subjective, experiential feature of certain mental states. The phenomenal intentionality theory (PIT), is a theory of intentionality according to which there is phenomenal intentionality, and all other kinds of intentionality at least partly derive from it. In recent years, PIT has increasingly been seen as one of the main approaches to intentionality.
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  • Naïve Realism and Phenomenological Directness: Reply to Millar.Erhan Demircioglu - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1897-1910.
    In this paper, I respond to Millar’s recent criticism of naïve realism. Millar provides several arguments for the thesis that there are powerful phenomenological grounds for preferring the content view to naïve realism. I intend to show that Millar’s arguments are not convincing.
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  • The Individual Variability Problem.Dimitria Electra Gatzia - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (3):533-554.
    Studies show that there are widespread intrasubjective and intersubjective color variations among normal perceivers. These variations have serious ramifications in the debate about the nature and ontology of color. It is typical to think of the debate about color as a dispute between objectivists and subjectivists. Objectivists hold that colors are perceiver-independent physical properties of objects while subjectivists hold that they are either projections onto external objects or dispositions objects have to look colored. I argue that individual color variations present (...)
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  • Understanding Consciousness, Edition 2.Max Velmans - 2009 - Routledge/Psychology Press.
    A current, comprehensive summary of Velmans' theoretical work that updates and deepens the analysis given in Edition 1. Part 1 reviews the strengths and weaknesses of all currently dominant theories of consciousness in a form suitable for undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers focusing mainly on dualism, physicalism, functionalism and consciousness in machines. Part 2 gives a new analysis of consciousness, grounded in its everyday phenomenology, which undermines the basis of the dualism versus reductionist debate. It also examines the consequences for realism (...)
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  • Tracking Representationalism.David Bourget & Angela Mendelovici - 2014 - In Andrew Bailey (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: The Key Thinkers. Continuum. pp. 209-235.
    This paper overviews the current status of debates on tracking representationalism, the view that phenomenal consciousness is a matter of tracking features of one's environment in a certain way. We overview the main arguments for the view and the main objections and challenges it faces. We close with a discussion of alternative versions of representationalism that might overcome the shortcomings of tracking representationalism.
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  • Qualia and the Representational Theory of Phenomenal Character.Tim Klaassen - manuscript
    Representationalism is an influential theory about the nature of phenomenal character. Extensive formulations of the theory can be found in (Dretske;1995) and (Tye; 1995). Much has been written on representationalism since the publication of these books. However, straightforward and concise characterizations of the theory are hard to fi nd. In this paper I attempt to give one such. It has been my aim to clarify what exactly representationalism is a theory of, the problems it aims to solve, and how it (...)
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  • Consciousness and Explanation.Martin Davies - 2008 - In Lawrence Weiskrantz & Martin Davies (eds.), Frontiers of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
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