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Paper   IPM / P / 14824
School of Physics
  Title:   A Bergsonian Approach toward Phenomenal Externalism: Rendering Unity
1.  B. Borgheai
2.  M. Golshani
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Filosofiska Notiser
  No.:  3
  Vol.:  3
  Year:  2016
  Pages:   61-78
  Supported by:  IPM
Phenomenal Externalism (PE) is one proposed framework for resolving the problems associated with the intentional aspect of mental content. However, by privileging external objects over internal structure in identifying the characteristics of experience (qualia), PE is limited in its ability to explain the introspective (phenomenal) aspect of experience. This has become an Achilles’ heel for PE, to which many of its opponents have formulated significant objections. In this paper, we consider some possible ways of modifying and equipping PE to answer these objections. It will be shown that a degree of subjectivity can be returned to the qualia conception within a PE framework. This will be achieved by following Bergson, who claims that perception is made in things and that, though not identical, pure perception and objective reality are united. To explain this unity, we propose a computer rendering analogy, according to which qualia look like the products of mental rendering, which raises the possibility of locating some phenomenal properties in things. On this modified view, on the one hand qualia turn out to be objective, in the sense that they are unified with external entities, and on the other hand they are subjective, since they are unified with the mind. To be “in” the thing in the sense discussed means being “united with” and “inseparable from” both the thing and the mind.

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