Kobos Katarzyna
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45(2009)2 - Consciousness and the Subject

Katarzyna Kobos

Singular versus plural subject of perceivings in the view of the differentiation of perception into separate sensory modalities

  • language: Polish


The paper investigates the rationale behind the differentiation of sensory experience into separate modalities as the issue is conceived of in both human and other subjects. Upon naming the criteria for the identification of different senses (as put forth by Keeley, among others), several thought experiments are employed to facilitate the resolution of the question of the function and origin of the senses (Jarvilehto's, Grice's thought experiments).

The paper attends to the problems the plurality of modalities poses to the philosophical stance referred to as representationalism (on O'Dea's and Tye's accounts) and comments upon the efforts its supporters make in order to reconcile the claim that all mental contents are but representational and the fact that the reality is reflected in multiple, if not supernumerary, ways by the many senses. The paper then proceeds to reflect on the analogy between the putative excess of sensory representational faculties and the divergences as well as similarities in respect of the referential properties evinced by different languages.