Russellian Representationalism and the Stygian Hues

William A. Sharp

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Representationalism is today the leading physicalist theory of the phenomenal character of perceptual experience. And Russellian representationalism, which identifies contents with extensions, is the leading iteration of that theory. If there exist phenomenally distinct experiences as of the impossible, then these would prima facie serve as counterexamples to the theory. In order that they definitively serve as counterexamples, it needs to be that there is no plausible account of the experiences on which they decompose into constituent elements each of which is unproblematic from the perspective of the theory. The contention of this paper is that the stygian color experiences, afterimage-experiences as of maximally dark, hued surfaces, of Churchland (Churchland, Philosophical Psychology 18:527–560, 2005) serve as counterexamples to Russellian representationalism.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Logic


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