Senses for senses

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):99 – 117 (2009)


If two subjects have phenomenally identical experiences, there is an important sense in which the way the world appears to them is precisely the same. But how are we to understand this notion of 'ways of appearing'? Most philosophers who have acknowledged the existence of phenomenal content have held that the way something appears is simply a matter of the properties something appears to have. On this view, the way something appears is simply the way something appears to be . This identification supports a Russellian theory of phenomenal content, according to which phenomenal content is exhausted by facts about what specific properties are represented by an experience. The present paper motivates and develops an alternative Fregean theory of phenomenal colour content. According to Fregean theories, the phenomenal content that is shared by any two phenomenally identical experiences is a matter of how the world is represented, and need not involve sameness in what is represented. It is argued that ways of appearing are modes of presentations of external properties and objects, and a detailed theory is presented about the nature of the modes of presentation involved in colour experience

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Author Profiles

B. Thompson
Concordia University
Brad Thompson
Southern Methodist University

Citations of this work

Perception and the Reach of Phenomenal Content.Tim Bayne - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):385-404.
Rich Perceptual Content and Aesthetic Properties.Dustin Stokes - 2018 - In Anna Bergqvist & Robert Cowan (eds.), Evaluative Perception. Oxford University Press.
The Spatial Content of Experience.Brad Thompson - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):146-184.

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