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Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal KnowledgeNew Essays on Consciousness and Physicalism$
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Torin Alter and Sven Walter

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195171655

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171655.001.0001

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Grasping Phenomenal Properties

Grasping Phenomenal Properties

Chapter:
(p.307) thirteen Grasping Phenomenal Properties
Source:
Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge
Author(s):

Martine Nida‐Rümelin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171655.003.0013

This chapter presents an argument for property dualism. The argument employs a distinction between having a concept of a property and grasping a property via a concept. If you grasp a property P via a concept C, then C is a concept of P. But the reverse does not hold: you may have a concept of a property without grasping that property via any concept. If you grasp a property, then your cognitive relation to that property is more intimate than if you just have some concept or other of that property. To grasp a property is to understand what having that property essentially consists in. To have a concept of a property is to have a concept one can use to attribute the property to something. If you have the concept of water, then you can use it to attribute the property of being water to liquids. You then have a concept of the property of being water. But you may have the concept of water without knowing that being composed of H2O is essential for being water — without knowing what having the property of being water consists in. In that case, your concept would not enable you to grasp the property. An account of grasping properties is proposed.

Keywords:   property dualism, grasping, phenomenal property, cognitive relation

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