Philosophical Studies

, Volume 166, Supplement 1, pp 131–151

What do our experiences of heat and cold represent?



DOI: 10.1007/s11098-012-0083-5

Cite this article as:
Gray, R. Philos Stud (2013) 166: 131. doi:10.1007/s11098-012-0083-5


Our experiences of heat and cold are usually thought to represent states of things: their hotness and coldness. I propose a novel account according to which their contents are not states of things but processes, more specifically, the opposite processes of thermal energy being transmitted to and from the body, respectively. I call this account the Heat Exchange Model of heat perception. Having set out the evidence in support of the proposal, I conclude by showing how it provides a new perspective on some old problems.


Heat perceptionRepresentational content of experiencePhenomenal characterTouch

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012