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The Case for Qualia$
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Edmond Wright

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262232661

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262232661.001.0001

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From the Looks of Things: The Explanatory Failure of Representationalism

From the Looks of Things: The Explanatory Failure of Representationalism

(p.325) 18 From the Looks of Things: The Explanatory Failure of Representationalism
The Case for Qualia

Diana Raffman

The MIT Press

In this chapter it is argued that although the representationalist has told a credible materialist story of how a perceptual experience gets and carries its intentional content, he has not yet explained how we can be aware of that content without being aware of intrinsic features of the experience. It is essential that the representationalist do this, for the qualia problem is an intuitive problem. The materialist who would resolve it must do some justice to intuitions about the character of human perceptual experience, or at least provide a plausible diagnosis of them or a plausible reconstruction of the notion of qualia. In particular, the representationalist must explain how one can be aware of the content of one’s experience without being aware of inner intrinsic properties of it. It is argued here that he has not yet explained this, and so has not yet solved the qualia problem.

Keywords:   representationalist, materialist story, perceptual experience, intentional content, intrinsic features, qualia problem

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