Internalism and the snapshot conception of phenomenal experience: A reply to Fisher

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Department or Administrative Unit

Philosophy and Religious Studies

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Justin Fisher (2007) has presented a novel argument designed to prove that all forms of mental internalism are false. I aim to show that the argument fails with regard to internalism about phenomenal experiences. The argument tacitly assumes a certain view about the ontology of phenomenal experience, which (inspired by Alva Noë) I call the “snapshot conception of phenomenal experience.” After clarifying what the snapshot conception involves, I present Fisher with a dilemma. If he rejects the snapshot conception, then his argument against phenomenal internalism collapses. But if he embraces the snapshot conception, then internalists may argue that in light of the snapshot conception, their view is not so implausible—and that if Fisher still disagrees, he owes us an argument that shows why phenomenal internalism is false even given the snapshot conception. I conclude the paper by showing that Fisher cannot escape my criticism by adjusting his argument so that it no longer depends on the snapshot conception.


This article was originally published in Philosophical Psychology. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Philosophical Psychology


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