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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Higher Order Theory

Higher Order Theory

(p.111) Chapter 5 Higher Order Theory
What It Is Like To Perceive

J. Christopher Maloney

Oxford University Press

Rosenthal's rendition of representationalism denies intentionalism. His higher order theory instead asserts that a perceptual state's phenomenal character is set by that state's being related to, because represented by, another, but higher order, cognitive state. The theory arises from the doubtful supposition of unconscious perception and mistakenly construes intrinsic phenomenal character extrinsically, as one state's serving as the content of another. Yet it remains mysterious how and why a higher order state might be so potent as to determine phenomenal character at all. Better to resist higher order theory’s embrace of dubious unconscious perceptual states and account for states so-called simply in terms of humdrum mnemonic malfeasance. Moreover, since the suspect theory allows higher order misrepresentation, it implies sufferance of impossible phenomenal character. Equally problematic, representationalism pitched at the higher order entails the existence of bogus phenomenal character when upstairs states represent downstairs nonperceptual states.

Keywords:   Key words: content, higher order theory, intentionalism, misrepresentation, mnemonic malfeasance, unconscious perception, phenomenal character

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