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Authors: Fink, Sascha Benjamin
Title: Phenomenal precision and some possible pitfalls : a commentary on Ned Block
Online publication date: 16-Nov-2016
Language: english
Abstract: Ground Representationism is the position that for each phenomenal feature there is a representational feature that accounts for it. Against this thesis, Ned Block has provided an intricate argument that rests on the notion of “ phenomenal precision ”: the phenomenal precision of a percept may change at a different rate from its representational counterpart. If so, there is then no representational feature that accounts for a specific change of this phenomenal feature. Therefore, Ground Representationism cannot be generally true. Although the notion of phenomenal precision is intuitive, it is admittedly in need of clarification. Here I reconstruct Block ’s argument by suggesting a way of estimating phenomenal precision that is based on the assumption that parts of perceptual wholes can share phenomenal features independently of their place in the whole. Understood like this, the overall argument shows what it is supposed to show. A more thorough look at the notion of phenomenal precision suggests tension with Block’s other work: in order to be non-trivial, we have to accept that some of our phenomenality is not concrete, but only generic. Such “ solely generic phenomenology ”, however, is a position mainly held by opponents to Block ’s Access- vs. Phenomenal Consciousness-distinction. Interpreting phenomenal imprecision as constituted by introspective imprecision does not suffice as a way out. It seems that phenomenal precision is either trivial, self-contradictory, or incompatible with Block ’s position elsewhere. So some additional elucidation on this crucial notion is needed.
DDC: 100 Philosophie
100 Philosophy
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 05 Philosophie und Philologie
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Buchbeitrag
License: in Copyright
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Citation: Open MIND
Metzinger, Thomas
Pages or article number: Kap. 5(C)
Publisher: MIND Group
Publisher place: Frankfurt am Main
Issue date: 2015
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Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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