Philosophical Studies

, Volume 151, Issue 2, pp 299–327 | Cite as

Two conceptions of subjective experience

Article

Abstract

Do philosophers and ordinary people conceive of subjective experience in the same way? In this article, we argue that they do not and that the philosophical concept of phenomenal consciousness does not coincide with the folk conception. We first offer experimental support for the hypothesis that philosophers and ordinary people conceive of subjective experience in markedly different ways. We then explore experimentally the folk conception, proposing that for the folk, subjective experience is closely linked to valence. We conclude by considering the implications of our findings for a central issue in the philosophy of mind, the hard problem of consciousness.

Keywords

Phenomenal consciousness Folk concept of subjective experience Experimental philosophy Hard problem of consciousness 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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