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Representationalism and the Conceivability of Inverted Spectra

Brad Thompson
Synthese
Vol. 160, No. 2 (Jan., 2008), pp. 203-213
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27653657
Page Count: 11
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Representationalism and the Conceivability of Inverted Spectra
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Abstract

Most philosophers who have endorsed the idea that there is such a thing as phenomenal content — content that supervenes on phenomenal character — have also endorsed what I call Standard Russellianism. According to Standard Russellianism, phenomenal content is Russellian in nature, and the properties represented by perceptual experiences are mind-independent physical properties. In agreement with Sydney Shoemaker [Shoemaker, S. (1994). "Philosophy and Phenomenological Research," 54, 249—314], I argue that Standard Russellianism is incompatible with the possibility of spectrum inversion without illusion. One defense of Standard Russellianism is to hold that spectrum inversion without illusion is conceivable but not in fact possible. I argue that this response fails. As a consequence, either phenomenal content is not Russellian, or experiences do not represent mind-independent physical properties.

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