Tye’s Representationalism: Feeling the Heat?

Philosophical Studies 115 (3):245-256 (2003)
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According to Tye's PANIC theory of consciousness, perceptual states of creatures which are related to a disjunction of external contents will fail to represent sensorily, and thereby fail to be conscious states. In this paper I argue that heat perception, a form of perception neglected in the recent literature, serves as a counterexample to Tye's radical externalist claim. Having laid out Tye's absent qualia scenario, the PANIC theory from which it derives and the case of heat perception as a counterexample, I defend the putative counterexample against three possible responses: (1) that heat perception represents general (i.e. non-disjunctive) intrinsic properties of objects, (2) that heat perception represents the non-specific heat energy that is transferred between a subject's body and another body and (3) that heat perception exclusively represents heat properties of the subjects own body.

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Richard Gray
Cardiff University


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