On Phenomenal Character and Petri Dishes

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Department or Administrative Unit

Philosophy and Religious Studies

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In “New Troubles for the Qualia Freak,” Michael Tye argues that phenomenal character cannot be an intrinsic micro­physical property of experiences (or be necessitated by intrinsic microphysical properties) because this would entail that experience could occur in a chunk of tissue in a Petri dish. Laudably, Tye attempts to defend the latter claim rather than resting content with the counter-intuitiveness of the associated image. However, I show that his defense is problematic in several ways, and ultimately that it still amounts to no more than an appeal to the unargued intuition that experience could not occur in something small enough to fit in a Petri dish.


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

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Journal of Philosophical Research


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