Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

The Philosophical Review: October 2011, Vol. 120, No. 4

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

The Philosophical Review: October 2011, Vol. 120, No. 4

Article excerpt

Affordances and Phenomenal Character in Spatial Perceptions, SIMON PROSSER

Intentionalism is the view that the phenomenal character of a conscious experience is wholly determined by, or even reducible to, its representational content. This essay puts forward a version of intentionalism that allows (though does not require) the reduction of phenomenal character to representational content. Unlike other reductionist theories, however, it does not require the acceptance of phenomenal exterualism (the view that phenomenal character does not supervene on the internal state of the subject). According to the view offered here, phenomenal characters essentially represent subject-environment relations that are relevant to the possibilities for causal interaction between the subject and the environment; relations of the kind that J. J. Gibson dubbed "affordances." The essay argues for this view chiefly through an examination of spatial perception, though other cases are also considered. The view assumes that a phenomenal character has an essential functional role; though it need not be assumed that a functional role is sufficient for a phenomenal character.

Verbal Disputes, DAVID J. CHALMERS

The philosophical interest of verbal disputes is twofold. First, they play a key role in philosophical method. Many philosophical disagreements are at least partly verbal, and almost every philosophical dispute has been diagnosed as verbal at some point. Here we can see the diagnosis of verbal disputes as a tool for philosophical progress. Second, they are interesting as a subject matter for first-order philosophy. Reflection on the existence and nature of verbal disputes can reveal something about the nature of concepts, language, and meaning. This article first characterizes verbal disputes, spells out a method for isolating and resolving them, and draws out conclusions for philosophical methodology. …

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