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On representationalism, common-factorism, and whether consciousness is here and now
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5378-3094
2018 (English)In: Philosophical Studies, ISSN 0031-8116, E-ISSN 1573-0883Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

A strong form of representationalism says that every conscious property of every mental state can be identified with some part of the state’s representational properties. A weaker representationalism says that some conscious property of some mental state can be identified with some part of the state’s representational properties. David Papineau has recently argued that all such theories are incorrect since (a) they construe consciousness as consisting (partly or wholly) in ‘‘relations to propositions or other abstract objects outside space and time’’, whereas (b) consciousness is ‘‘concrete’’ and ‘‘here and now’’. Papineau defends instead a kind of ‘‘qualia theory’’ according to which all conscious properties are intrinsic non-relational properties of subjects. He argues that this theory bypasses the difficulties he identifies for representationalism. Similar worries about representationalism, and similar ideas to the effect that some qualia theory, adverbial theory, or sense-datum theory fares better with respect to these worries are relatively wide-spread. I argue that Papineau’s theory does not bypass the difficulties he identifies for representationalism. In fact, Papineau’s theory arguably has no advantage at all over representationalism with regard to these issues. The features that concern Papineau about representationalist views do not derive—or do not derive solely—from the representationalism of these views. They (also) derive from a common-factorism of these views. And this common-factorism is embraced by Papineau as well as by most theories of consciousness and perception.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018.
Keywords [en]
Representationalism, Common-factor theory, Consciousness, Perception, Concrete, Abstract
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150555DOI: 10.1007/s11098-018-1139-yScopus ID: 2-s2.0-85049835234OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-150555DiVA, id: diva2:1238140
Available from: 2018-08-12 Created: 2018-08-12 Last updated: 2019-06-04

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Sundström, Pär

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