Phenomenal contrast arguments: What they achieve

Mind and Language 35 (3):350-367 (2019)
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Phenomenal contrast arguments (PCAs) are normally employed as arguments showing that a certain mental feature contributes to (the phenomenal character of) experience, that certain contents are represented in experience and that kinds of sui generis phenomenologies such as cognitive phenomenology exist. In this paper we examine a neglected aspect of such arguments, i.e., the kind of mental episodes involved in them, and argue that this happens to be a crucial feature of the arguments. We use linguistic tools to determine the lexical aspect of verbs and verb phrases – the tests for a/telicity and for duration. We then suggest that all PCAs can show is the presence of a generic achievement-like phenomenology, especially in the cognitive domain, which contrasts with the role that PCAs are given in the literature.

Author Profiles

Marta Jorba
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Agustin Vicente
University of the Basque Country


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