Restrictions on representationalism

Philosophical Studies 134 (3):405-427 (2007)
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According to representationalism, the qualitative character of our phenomenal mental states supervenes on the intentional content of such states. Strong representationalism makes a further claim: the qualitative character of our phenomenal mental states _consists in_ the intentional content of such states. Although strong representationalism has greatly increased in popularity over the last decade, I find the view deeply implausible. In what follows, I will attempt to argue against strong representationalism by a two-step argument. First, I suggest that strong representationalism must be _unrestricted_ in order to serve as an adequate theory of qualia, i.e., it must apply to all qualitative mental states. Second, I present considerations to show that an unrestricted form of strong representationalism is problematic

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Amy Kind
Claremont McKenna College

References found in this work

Consciousness and Experience.William G. Lycan - 1996 - Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
The intrinsic quality of experience.Gilbert Harman - 1990 - Philosophical Perspectives 4:31-52.
Naturalizing the Mind.Fred Dretske - 1995 - Philosophy 72 (279):150-154.

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