Recent research in psycholinguistics suggests that language processing frequently involves mental imagery. This paper focuses on visual imagery and discusses two issues regarding the processing of polysemous words (i.e. words with multiple related meanings or senses) – co-predication and sense-relatedness. It aims to show how mental imagery can illuminate these two issues.
The paradox of pain refers to the idea that the folk concept of pain is paradoxical, treating pains as simultaneously mental states and bodily states. By taking a close look at our pain terms, this paper argues that there is no paradox of pain. The air of paradox dissolves once we recognize that pain terms are polysemous and that there are two separate but related concepts of pain rather than one.
The surface grammar of reports such as ‘I have a pain in my leg’ suggests that pains are objects which are spatially located in parts of the body. We show that the parallel construction is not available in Mandarin. Further, four philosophically important grammatical features of such reports cannot be reproduced. This suggests that arguments and puzzles surrounding such reports may be tracking artefacts of English, rather than philosophically significant features of the world.
In a recent paper, Reuter, Seinhold and Sytsma put forward an implicature account to explain the intuitive failure of the pain-in-mouth argument. They argue that utterances such as ‘There is tissue damage / a pain / an inflammation in my mouth’ carry the conversational implicature that there is something wrong with the speaker’s mouth. Appealing to new empirical data, this paper argues against the implicature account and for the entailment account, according to which pain reports using locative locutions, such as (...) ‘There is a pain in my mouth’, are intuitively understood as entailing corresponding predicative locutions, such as ‘My mouth hurts.’ On this latter account, the pain-in-mouth argument seems invalid because the conclusion is naturally understood as entailing something which cannot be inferred from the premisses. Implications for the philosophical debate about pain are also drawn. (shrink)
Philosophers disagree about what the folk concept of pain is. This paper criticises existing theories of the folk concept of pain, i.e. the mental view, the bodily view, and the recently proposed polyeidic view. It puts forward an alternative proposal – the polysemy view – according to which pain terms like “sore,” “ache” and “hurt” are polysemous, where one sense refers to a mental state and another a bodily state, and the type of polysemy at issue reflects two distinct but (...) related concepts of pain. Implications with respect to issues in philosophy of pain are also drawn. (shrink)
Poetry evokes mental imagery in its readers. But how is mental imagery precisely related to poetry? This article provides a systematic treatment. It clarifies two roles of mental imagery in relation to poetry—as an effect generated by poetry and as an efficient means for understanding and appreciating poetry. The article also relates mental imagery to the discussion on the ‘heresy of paraphrase’. It argues against the orthodox view that the imagistic effects of poetry cannot be captured by prosaic paraphrase, but (...) points to features of poetry that can shape aspects of mental imagery that are liable to be lost in paraphrase. (shrink)
It is often thought that sensible qualities such as colours do not exist as properties of physical objects. Focusing on the case of colour, I discuss two views: the Galilean view, according to which colours do not exist as qualities of physical objects, and the naive view, according to which colours are, as our perception presents them to be, qualities instantiated by physical objects. I argue that it is far from clear that the Galilean view is better than the naive (...) view. Given the arguments in this paper, the naive view ought to be taken seriously. The discussion here appeals especially to theorists who, like Goff, are already convinced that the quantitative language of physical science fails to capture all qualities. (shrink)
In recent literature on the metaphysics of consciousness, and in particular on the prospects of physicalism, there are two interesting strands of discussion. One strand concerns the so-called ‘thesis of revelation’, the claim that the essences of phenomenal properties are revealed in experience. The other strand concerns the intuition of dualism, the intuition that consciousness is nonphysical. With a particular focus on the former, this paper advances two main arguments. First, it argues that the thesis of revelation is intuitive; it (...) is part of our ordinary, implicit conception of experience. Second, it brings the two strands of discussion together and puts forward a rational explanation of the intuition of dualism in terms of the intuitiveness of the thesis of revelation. (shrink)
It is often said that there is no appearance/reality distinction with respect to consciousness. Call this claim ‘NARD’. In contemporary discussions, NARD is closely connected to the thesis of revelation, the claim that the essences of phenomenal properties are revealed in experience, though the connection between the two requires clarification. This paper distinguishes different versions of NARD and homes in on a particular version that is closely connected to revelation. It shows how revelation and the related version of NARD pose (...) a threat to physicalism. Responses from physicalism and their limitations are also considered. (shrink)
Paintings of music are a significant presence in modern art. They are cross-modal representations, aimed at representing music, say, musical works or forms, using colors, lines, and shapes in the visual modality. This article aims to provide a conceptual framework for understanding paintings of music. Using examples from modern art, the article addresses the question of what a painting of music is. Implications for the aesthetic appreciation of paintings of music are also drawn.
This commentary focuses on explaining the intuition of revelation, an issue that Chalmers (2018) raises in his paper. I first sketch how the truth of revelation provides an explanation for the intuition of revelation, and then assess a physicalist proposal to explain the intuition that appeals to Derk Pereboom’s (2011, 2016, 2019) qualitative inaccuracy hypothesis.
In the philosophy of mind, revelation is the claim that the nature of qualia is revealed in phenomenal experience. In the literature, revelation is often thought of as intuitive but in tension with physicalism. While mentions of revelation are frequent, there is room for further discussion of how precisely to formulate the thesis of revelation and what it exactly amounts to. Drawing on the work of David Lewis, this paper provides a detailed discussion on how the thesis of revelation, as (...) well as its incompatibility with physicalism, is to be understood. (shrink)
Empirical evidence suggests that perceptual-motor simulations are often constitutively involved in language comprehension. Call this “the simulation view of language comprehension.” This paper applies the simulation view to illuminate the much-discussed phenomenon of copredication, where a noun permits multiple predications which seem to select different senses of the noun simultaneously. On the proposed account, the (in)felicitousness of a copredicational sentence is closely associated with the perceptual simulations that the language user deploys in comprehending the sentence.
Ad hoc concepts feature prominently in lexical pragmatics. A speaker can use a word or phrase to communicate an ad hoc concept that is different from the lexically encoded concept and the hearer can construct the intended ad hoc concept pragmatically during utterance comprehension. I argue that some philosophical concepts have origins as ad hoc concepts, and such concepts pose a challenge for experimental philosophy regarding these concepts. To illustrate this, I consider philosophers’ ‘what-it’s-like’-concepts and experimental philosophy of consciousness.
Zeugmatic oddness is a linguistic intuition of oddness with respect to an instance of zeugma, i.e. a sentence containing an instance of a homonymous or polysemous word being used in different meanings or senses simultaneously. Zeugmatic oddness is important for philosophical debates as philosophers often use it to argue that a particular philosophically interesting expression is ambiguous and that the phenomenon referred to by the expression is disunified. This paper takes a closer look at zeugmatic oddness. Focusing on relevant psycholinguistic (...) literature on homonymy and polysemy processing and representation, I argue that there are two different ways in which zeugmatic oddness can arise. Philosophical upshots concerning zeugmatic oddness are then drawn. (shrink)
Cross-domain descriptions are descriptions of features pertaining to one domain in terms of vocabulary primarily associated with another domain. Notably, we routinely describe psychological features in terms of the sensory domain and vice versa. Sorrow is said to be ‘bitter’ and fear ‘cold’. Music can be described as ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘mournful’, and so on. Such descriptions are rife in both everyday discourse and literary writings. What is it about psychological features that invites descriptions in sensory terms and what is it (...) about the sensory that invites descriptions in terms of the psychological? Drawing on the literature on polysemy, this paper sheds light on cross-domain descriptions pertaining to the sensory and the psychological domains. (shrink)