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Revisiting the Valence Account

Sytsma, Justin (2013) Revisiting the Valence Account. [Preprint]

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    The existence of phenomenally conscious mental states is often taken to be obvious from first-person experience. Sytsma and Machery (2010) argued that if that is the case, then lay people should classify mental states in the same way that philosophers typically do, treating states like seeing red and feeling pain similarly. We then presented evidence that they do not. This finding is interesting in its own right, however, outside of any implications for the philosophical debates concerning phenomenal consciousness. As such, we attempted to explain our finding, presenting evidence that lay mental state ascriptions depend on valence judgments (that the mental states have a hedonic value for the subject). In this paper, I present new evidence that suggests against this valence account. I then provide evidence for a new explanation based on previous findings that lay people tend to view both colors and pains as mind-independent qualities of objects outside the mind/brain.

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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: Forthcoming in Philosophical Topics.
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
    Depositing User: Justin Sytsma
    Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2013 11:12
    Last Modified: 07 Sep 2013 11:12
    Item ID: 9986

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