Tye’s Representationalism: Feeling the Heat?


According to Tye’s PANIC theory of consciousness, perceptualstates of creatures which are related to a disjunction ofexternal contents will fail to represent sensorily, andthereby fail to be conscious states. In this paper I arguethat heat perception, a form of perception neglected in therecent literature, serves as a counterexample to Tye’sradical externalist claim. Having laid out Tye’s `absentqualia’ scenario, the PANIC theory from which it derivesand the case of heat perception as a counterexample, Idefend the putative counterexample against three possibleresponses: (1) that heat perception represents general(i.e. non-disjunctive) intrinsic properties of objects,(2) that heat perception represents the non-specific heatenergy that is transferred between a subject’s body andanother body and (3) that heat perception exclusivelyrepresents heat properties of the subject’s own body.

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Gray, R. Tye’s Representationalism: Feeling the Heat?. Philosophical Studies 115, 245–256 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025129319705

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  • Intrinsic Property
  • Conscious State
  • Radical Externalist
  • Putative Counterexample
  • Heat Perception