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Consciousness and MeaningSelected Essays$
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Brian Loar, Katalin Balog, and Stephanie Beardman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199673353

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673353.001.0001

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Transparent Experience and the Availability of Qualia

Transparent Experience and the Availability of Qualia

(p.273) 14 Transparent Experience and the Availability of Qualia
Consciousness and Meaning

Brian Loar

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, Loar attempts to combine the representationist insight of Harman, Dretske, and others about the transparency of normal visual experience with the qualiphile commitment to introspectible intrinsic qualia. He rejects both the standard view of raw qualia according to which qualia are not essentially representational, but rather, like paint on canvas, are individuated independently of their representational properties, and what he calls the standard representationist attack on qualia, according to which no matter how well you try to introspect your normal visual experience, all you will notice is the apparent objects and properties that your visual experience presents. The upshot is that non-relational, yet intentional, qualia are needed to explain certain intuitions about phenomenal sameness in mental content; and representationism doesn’t have the resources to do that. There is mental paint, and it points.

Keywords:   phenomenal character, qualia, transparency, introspection, representationism, mental content, mental paint, Gilbert Harman, Fred Dretske

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