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Volume 47 • Number 2

April 2009



Scents and Sensibilia

by Clare Batty

An ongoing debate in the philosophy of perception is the one concerning how we should account for the phenomenal character— or the "what it is like"—of perceptual experience. Within this debate, there are those who think that qualia exist and those who do not. Qualia realists claim that there are introspectible properties of experience that play a crucial role in determining phenomenal character. Intentionalists are among those who think that there are no such properties. Intentionalism is the view that there is nothing more to the phenomenal character of a perceptual experience than its representational content—that is, the way that things in the world appear to be. In arguing that qualia do not exist, intentionalists have drawn attention to the alleged transparency of experience. Experience is said to be transparent in the sense that you "see right through it" and onto the objects and properties in the external world. Qualia simply aren't there to be found.

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ISSN: 2152-1123