Takuya Niikawa

Presentational Phenomenology and Phenomenal Character

The concept of phenomenal character of perceptual experience is basically characterized by the locution of “what it is like to have a perceptual experience” but this characterization should be further clarified (I call phenomenal character of perceptual experience PCP below). There are three important questions useful to characterize PCP in detail. The questions are as follows: (1) Should we accept “presentational phenomenology”, that is, it seems to one that one is aware of objects (Pautz 2007, p. 495) as the characterization of PCP? (2) Should we accept that we are actually aware of something (it might not be a concrete physical object) when it seems to us that we are aware of something? (3) Should we accept a principle that it is an essential component of PCP to be aware of something? How to answer these questions is crucial to evaluate philosophical theories of perceptual experience such as intentionalism and naive realism because the plausibility of the theories strongly depends on how to characterize PCP. The aim of this paper is to answer the three questions, and then to argue that a kind of intentionalism is not tenable, according to the answers. 1. My answer to the first question is as follows. if we reject presentational phenomenology as the characterization of PCP, then we have to devise an unnatural and technical characterization of PCP such as a characterization by using subjective indistinguishability, but it is unclear that such a characterization is able to grasp a pre-theoretical intuition about what it is like to have a perceptual experience; whereas presentational phenomenology is more compatible with the intuition. Therefore, it is plausible to characterize PCP by presentational phenomenology. And if you judge from your first person perspective that you have a perceptual experience but that it does not seem to you that you are aware of objects, then there are two possibilities: (a) what it is like for you to have a perceptual experience is extremely different from ours; or (b) you do not learn correctly the concept of being aware of”. The former is quite unlikely. The latter can be ignored. Therefore, presentational phenomenology has to be accepted as a character of the first person aspect of perceptual experience. 2. My answer to the second question is as follows. The expression “it seems to one that” in the formulation of presentational phenomenology can be interpreted in two different ways: epistemic and phenomenal. It is the phenomenal interpretation which is appropriate as the characterization of presentational phenomenology. In the interpretation, the fact that it seems to one that she is aware of something means that she has the same phenomenal impression as that which she enjoys if she is actually aware of something. If we accept presentational phenomenology in this sense, we have to accept that a subject can be actually aware of something, at least, in a class of perceptual experiences because otherwise we cannot understand what the phenomenal impression, which is supposed to be the same as that which she enjoys if she is actually aware of something, is. This is derived from the following principle: when X is characterized by being the same as Y, if there is no Y in any sense, then X is unintelligible.

3. My answer to the third question is that being aware of something is one of the essential components of PCP. According to the argument in section 1, PCP should be characterized by presentational phenomenology. It means that the concept of being aware of in the formulation of presentational phenomenology is not a third person concept. A concept is third personal if and only if the concept is characterized from the third person perspective. It might be possible to characterize the concept of being aware of from third person perspective, for example, by terms in cognitive neuroscience. However, concepts characterized in such a way cannot be used to characterize PCP because the concept of phenomenal character has to be the first person concept. Given that, it is plausible that the relation of being aware of constitutes PCP. The reason is as follows. If the relation of being aware of constitutes PCP, it is easy to understand how to acquire the concept of being aware of by reflection or introspection, that is, from first person perspective. On the other hand, if PCP is not constituted by the relation of being aware of, it is unclear how to acquire the concept of being aware of by reflection or introspection. 4. If, for a class of perceptual experiences, we have to accept that the relation of being aware of constitutes the phenomenal character, a kind of intentionalism is untenable. For example, the intentionalism advocated by Adam Pautz should be rejected. In his definition of intentionalism, PCP is completely grounded by a relation to an intentional content of the perceptual experience (Pautz 2010, p.258), and the relation is not a relation of being aware of. Therefore, even if Pautz accepts that we are aware of something in some sense, the concept of being aware of in his sense is different from one which constitutes PCP. According to the consideration in section 3, if the concept of being aware of does not constitute PCP, it is mystery how to acquire the concept of being aware of. Therefore, the concept of being aware of has been introduced illegitimately in his intentionalism; or the concept in his sense is third personal, and therefore, irrelevant to PCP. If the latter is true, although he seems to accept presentational phenomenology (Pautz 2007, p. 495), the appearance is fallacious. References: Pautz, A. (2007) “Intentionalism and Perceptual Presence”, Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):495-541. Pautz, A. (2010) “Why Explain Visual Experience in Terms of Content” in Perceiving the World, edited by Nanay, B., pp. 254-309.

  • ENGLISH English
  • News
    Ebensee ist bekannt, sowohl als historischer Ort der Salzverarbeitung, als auch des Konzentrationslagers im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Weit weniger bekannt ist die über 100-jährge Geschichte der Textilindustrie im Ort. Hunderte von Frauen waren über mehrere Generationen in der zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts gegründeten Spinnerei und Weberei tätig.
    Vergangenen Samstag, den 17. November 2018 wurde an den Arbeits- und Sozialrechtler Elias Felten und den Philosophen Michael Zichy, beide Universität Salzburg, der Kardinal-Innitzer-Förderpreis verliehen.
    Bühne frei für Ideen und Projekte, die euch am Herzen liegen! Eine Vernetzungsangelegenheit der besonderen Art bietet euch das Career Center am 20.11.2018 beim Fair & Creative Matching Event.
    Das Wissen für morgen schon heute erleben – mit diesem Ziel erarbeiten universitäre und außeruniversitäre Forschungseinrichtungen in der Science City Itzling neue Vermittlungsformate.
    Im Rahmen von Wissenschaft-Praxis-Kooperationen für Unterrichtskonzepte mit digitalen Medien wird das Projekt EXBOX-Digital - Entwicklung und Evaluation von digitalen Experimentierboxen für den Chemie- und Physikunterricht der Didaktik der Naturwissenschaften an der PLUS School of Education durch die Robert Bosch Stiftung gefördert.
    Herr Dr. Sven Th. Schipporeit (Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Universität Wien) hält zu diesem Thema am Mi, 21. November 2018, 18.30 Uhr, in der Abgusssammlungs SR E.33, Residenzplatz 1, einen Vortrag
    Vortrag von Prof. Dr. Samuel Mössner, WWU Münster, am Mittwoch, 21.11.2018 um 18h im HS 436, Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
    Sebastian Meyer hält am 23. November 2018 um 14:00 Uhr im HS 436 der NW-Fakultät einen Gastvortrag zum Thema "Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships and their drivers in natural and anthropogenic systems with an emphasis on species interactions". Der Fachbereich Biowissenschaften lödt herzlich dazu ein!
    Christian Seiser hält am 26. November 2018 um 16:00 Uhr im HS 403 der NW-Fakultät einen Gastvortrag zum Thema "Histone deacetylases HDAC1 and HDAC2 as regulators of cell fate decisions". Der Fachbereich Biowissenschaften und das ICA laden herzlich dazu ein!
    Am 26.11. um 18 Uhr findet im Europasaal der Edmundsburg ein DSP Get-together statt. Dazu wollen wir alle DissertantInnen der Universität Salzburg herzlich einladen.
    The workshop aims to examine the musicality of the body and vice versa the corporeality of music from a choreographic perspective. This approach corresponds with the extension of the concept of music as well as the questioning of performance traditions in the context of New Music, which also puts a stronger emphasis on the body.
    The relatively young democracy Poland, whose political climate has intensified considerably since the last elections, is also moving increasingly to the fore. Politically critical leaders of representative cultural organisations have been and continue to be replaced by the new administration, while independent creative artists appear to be able to find niches so far or already live outside the country.
    Vortrag von Felix Silomon-Pflug am Mittwoch, 28.11.2018 um 18:00 Uhr im HS 436, 3. Stock der Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät, Hellbrunnerstraße 34
    Der Verein H.A.U.S. schenkt an zwei Tagen Punsch und Glühwein beim Advent am Alten Markt aus: Mittwoch, 28.11. und Donnerstag 29.11. Wir bieten sowohl Antialkoholisches als auch Hochprozentiges an, kulinarische Köstlichkeiten aus biologischer Landwirtschaft und Weihnachtsgebäck von lokalen Bäckern.
    Vom 29.11. bis 01.12.2018 im Unipark Nonntal
    Das Symposion der Katholische-Theologischen Fakultät findet am 29. und 30. November anlässlich der Aufhebung im Jahre 1938 statt. Veranstaltungsort ist der Hörsaal 101 der Theologischen Fakultät, Universitätsplatz 1.
    Salzburger Innovationstagung 2018 am 29.11.2018 ab 15 Uhr in der Großen Universitätsaula – ITG, Land Salzburg, Wirtschaftskammer und Salzburger Hochschulkonferenz
    Das Schlagwort "Open Access" ist nicht neu. Seit Jahren schon ist es in aller Munde und wird allerorts kontrovers diskutiert. Oft bleibt es jedoch lediglich beim philosophischen Theoretisieren, man ist es inzwischen fast schon müde. Was nun wirklich erforderlich ist, ist konkretes Handeln! Dr. Fund zeigt deshalb praxisnahe Wege und Möglichkeiten auf, die sich jetzt für Forscherinnen und Forscher ergeben.
    Am 30. November im Rahmen der Tagung Digital Humanities Austria 2018
    Ingrid Kohl hält am 30. November 2018 um 14:00 Uhr im HS 411 der NW-Fakultät einen Gastvortrag zum Thema "Forschung im Wildnisgebiet Dürrenstein". Der Fachbereich Biowissenschaften lödt herzlich dazu ein!
    Das DSP-Kolleg Popular Culture Studies veranstaltet im WS 2018/19 eine Ringvorlesung mit dem Titel "Approaches in Popular Culture Studies".
    Am 6. Dezember 2018 finden an der Universität Salzburg die WTZ Training Days zum Thema Kommunikation, Dissemination und Verbreitung in H2020-Projekten statt.
  • Veranstaltungen
  • 21.11.18 Zeit und Kult in der Gründungsphase der neuen Polis Rhodos
    22.11.18 Affine vs. Euclidean isoperimetric inequalities
    27.11.18 CHOREOGRAPHING SOUND The Body as an Instrument and Visceral Soundtrack
  • Alumni Club
  • PRESSE
  • Uni-Shop
  • VERANSTALTUNGSRÄUME
  • STELLENMARKT
  • Facebook-Auftritt der Universität Salzburg Twitter-Auftritt der Universität Salzburg Instagram-Auftritt der Universität Salzburg Flickr-Auftritt der Universität Salzburg Vimeo-Auftritt der Universität Salzburg