Phenomenal Externalism's Explanatory Power

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (3):613-630 (2018)
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I argue that phenomenal externalism is preferable to phenomenal internalism on the basis of externalism's explanatory power with respect to qualitative character. I argue that external qualities, namely, external physical properties that are qualitative independent of consciousness, are necessary to explain qualitative character, and that phenomenal externalism is best understood as accepting external qualities while phenomenal internalism is best understood as rejecting them. I build support for the claim that external qualities are necessary to explain qualitative character on the basis of a model of color perception as a certain sort of information filter by which perceivers gain access to external qualities.

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Peter Ross
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona


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