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What It Is Like To PerceiveDirect Realism and the Phenomenal Character of Perception$
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J. Christopher Maloney

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190854751

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190854751.001.0001

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Intentionalism’s Troubles Begin

Intentionalism’s Troubles Begin

(p.40) Chapter 3 Intentionalism’s Troubles Begin
What It Is Like To Perceive

J. Christopher Maloney

Oxford University Press

This chapter puzzles over intentionalism’s odd exportation of the phenomenal character of perceptual experience. Evidently, a perceptual state's phenomenal character is intrinsic to the state while its content is not. So, intentionalism’s reduction of character to content stumbles right out of the blocks. Also, but contrary to fact, if content were phenomenally determinative, all cognitive states with the same content would have the same character. Since perceptual content admits of minimal logical or conceptual complexity, over time a perceiver may find herself in perceptual states that have the same content but, contrary to intentionalism, different phenomenal characters. Moreover, throughout a continuous period of phenomenally stable conscious perception a perceiver might reason from, or about, her experiential content. Her reasoning would ensure fluctuation in her cognitive content despite the constancy of her phenomenal character. In short, perceptual content’s availability to cognition generally undermines intentionalism. Content does not determine character.

Keywords:   Keywords: content, intentionalism, perceptual experience, phenomenal character

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