On Phenomenal Character and Petri Dishes

Journal of Philosophical Research 39:67-74 (2014)
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Abstract

Michael Tye (2007) argues that phenomenal character cannot be an intrinsic microphysical property of experiences (or be necessitated by intrinsic microphysical properties) because this would entail that experience could occur in a chunk of tissue in a Petri dish. Laudably, Tye attempts to defend the latter claim rather than resting content with the counter-intuitiveness of the associated image. However, I show that his defense is problematic in several ways, and ultimately that it still amounts to no more than an appeal to the unargued intuition that experience could not occur in something small enough to fit in a Petri dish.

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Gary Bartlett
Central Washington University

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