Phenomenal Concepts as Mental Files

Grazer Philosophische Studien 88:73–100. (2013)
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This paper is a defense of the so-called phenomenal-concept strategy, based on a new view of phenomenal concepts as special de re modes of presentation of the phenomenal character of experience. Phenomenal concepts can be explained in physical terms as mental particulars (as phenomenal files) created in the individual’s mind to pick out the phenomenal character of experience by representing certain physical properties as those represented by the experiences themselves (metarepresentation). They are individuated by two fundamental relations: the perceptual (acquaintance) relation the creature bears to the physical properties represented by its own experience and the relation the creature bears to itself (self-acquaintance) as the subject undergoing those experiences. Mary’s newly acquired phenomenal file presents the phenomenal character of her new experience of red by means of the new relation she bears to herself as the creature standing in the experiential relation to the color red.

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Roberto Horácio De Pereira
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro


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