Leeds workshop on Perceptual Phenomenal Character: 27/02/16

The first of our New Directions funded workshops on Purpose and Procedure in the Philosophy of Perception will take place in Leeds on February 27th.

[Registration will initially be open to members of the three SPIN home institutions: Durham, Leeds and York. Any remaining places will be advertised more widely.]



11.15-12.30: Quining Colour Qualia

David MacArthur (Sydney, visiting at Durham)

12.30-1.30: Lunch

1.30-2.45: Neither Phenomenal Internalism nor Phenomenal Externalism: How Combining both can Settle Three Disputes about Phenomenal Character

Louise Moody (York)

2.45-3.15: Tea/coffee

3.15-4.30: Naive-Realism & The Explanatory Gap

Thomas Raleigh (NTNU)

5.00- Drinks and dinner

Abstracts here.

Workshop Description:

This first workshop will be in Leeds, focused on the general topic of perceptual phenomenal character (roughly, “what it is like” to have an experience). Many regard accounting for phenomenal character as one of the primary desiderata on philosophical theories of perceptual experience—for example, in the debate between Naïve Realists and Intentionalists over the metaphysics of perceptual experience (e.g., Fish 2009), and in the debate over experience of “high-level” properties (e.g., Siegel 2011). However, others (e.g., Hacker 2002) have argued that that there is no stable phenomenon here in need of explanation; that the explanatory target is ill-defined or confused. The main aim of this workshop will be to get clearer about the alleged explanandum—a task which is central to the concerns of the New Directions project, insofar as phenomenal character is particularly resistant to physicalist reduction. Questions addressed might include: can we defend the notion of phenomenal character from charges of incoherence or confusion? Is there more to the notion of perceptual phenomenal character than how things appear to the subject (e.g., a distinctive “feel” infusing perceptual appearances)? Must we think of perceptual phenomenal character as entirely “in the head”?

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