Phenomenal Blending and the Palette Problem

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
I discuss the apparent discrepancy between the qualitative diversity of consciousness and the relative qualitative homogeneity of the brain's basic constituents, a discrepancy that has been raised as a problem for identity theorists by Maxwell and Lockwood (as one element of the ‘grain problem’), and more recently as a problem for panpsychists (under the heading of ‘the palette problem’). The challenge posed to panpsychists by this discrepancy is to make sense of how a relatively small ‘palette’ of basic qualities could give rise to the bewildering diversity of qualities we, and presumably other creatures, experience. I argue that panpsychists can meet this challenge, though it requires taking contentious stands on certain phenomenological questions, in particular on whether any familiar qualities are actual examples of ‘phenomenal blending’, and whether any other familiar qualities have a positive ‘phenomenologically simple character’. Moreover, it requires accepting an eventual theory most elements of which are in a certain explicable sense unimaginable, though not for that reason inconceivable. Nevertheless, I conclude that there are no conclusive reasons to reject such a theory, and so philosophers whose prior commitments motivate them to adopt it can do so without major theoretical cost.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ROEPBA-2
Revision history
First archival date: 2016-09-28
Latest version: 2 (2019-01-02)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
A Unifying View of the Basis of Social Cognition.Gallese, Vittorio; Keysers, Christian & Rizzolatti, Giacomo

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2014-04-11

Total views
278 ( #12,460 of 43,016 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
62 ( #9,969 of 43,016 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.