Familiar Properties and Phenomenal Properties

Analytic Philosophy (2):274-300 (2022)
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Sometimes when we describe our own sensory experiences we seem to attribute to experience itself the same sorts of familiar properties – such as shape or colour – as we attribute to everyday physical objects. But how literally should we understand such descriptions? Can there really be phenomenal elements or aspects to an experience which are, for example, quite literally square? This paper examines how these questions connect to a wide range of different commitments and theories about the metaphysics of mind. In particular, I consider whether there may be phenomenological reasons to accept or reject the idea that there are elements or aspects of conscious experience itself which instantiate familiar spatial properties. I also explore how some general theses about the nature of empirical properties can motivate different answers to these questions.

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Thomas Raleigh
University of Luxembourg


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