Séminaire d'Epistémologie des Sciences Cognitives
Seminar for the Epistemology of Cognitive Science
THEORIE DES CONCEPTS & SCIENCES COGNITIVES
CONCEPT THEORY & COGNITIVE SCIENCE
Jeudi 22 Février 2012/ Thursday February 22,2012
14h30-16h30 / 2.30-4.30 pm
Titre : "A descriptivist theory of phenomenal concepts"
The aim of this paper is to put forward an alternative to what I shall call "the received view on phenomenal concepts". According to this view, our concepts of phenomenal states directly refer to these states. I claim, on the contrary, that phenomenal concepts are descriptive, indirect and relational. More precisely, I endorse a descriptivist analysis according to which phenomenal concepts are descriptive concepts having perceptual demonstratives as constituents. I introduce and discuss two distinctions: the distinction between the perceptible properties of objects and the qualitative characters of experiences on the one hand, and the corresponding distinction between perceptual demonstratives of perceptible properties and phenomenal concepts on the other. I then proceed as follows. Firstly, I state the main motivations behind the received view. Then, I try to show that many arguments that can be advanced in favor of the received view are either powerless against my descriptivist position, or can be re-interpreted as arguments supporting it.