The Limited Role of Particulars in Phenomenal Experience

Journal of Philosophy 111 (6):311-331 (2014)
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Consider two deeply appealing thoughts: first, that we experience external particulars, and second, that what it’s like to have an experience – the phenomenal character of an experience – is somehow independent of external particulars. The first thought is readily captured by phenomenal particularism, the view that external particulars are sometimes part of the phenomenal character of experience. The second thought is readily captured by phenomenal generalism, the view that external particulars are never part of phenomenal character. -/- Here I show that a novel version of phenomenal generalism can capture both thoughts in a satisfying fashion. Along the way, I reveal severe problems facing phenomenal particularism and also shed light on the mental kinds under which experiences fall

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Neil Mehta
Yale-NUS College


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