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Abstract: Sense-data, if they exist, could conceivably provide foundations for empirical knowledge. Those who are opposed to empirical foundationalism are therefore also prone to reject sense-data and arguments for their existence, e.g., Rorty, Bonjour; while foundationalists are prone to accept the existence of sense-data, e.g., Russell, Ayer, Broad, Price, Lewis. An exception to this is the position of Roderick Chisholm who accepts empirical foundationalism but rejects the existence of sense-data
Abstract: Suppose you are presented with three red objects. You are then asked to take a careful look at each possible pair of objects, and to decide whether or not their members look chromatically the same. You carry out the instructions thoroughly, and the following propositions sum up the results of your empirical investigation:
i. red object #1 looks the same in colour as red object #2.
ii. red object #2 looks the same in colour as red object #3
Abstract: The construction and analysis of arguments supposedly are a philosopher's main business, the demonstration of truth or refutation of falsehood his principal aim. In Sense and Sensibilia, J.L. Austin does something entirely different: He discusses the sense-datum doctrine of perception, with the aim not of refuting it but of 'dissolving' the 'philosophical worry' it induces in its champions. To this end, he 'exposes' their 'concealed motives', without addressing their stated reasons. The paper explains where and why this at first sight outrageous aim and approach are perfectly sensible, how exactly Austin proceeds, and how his approach can be taken further. This shows Austin to be a pioneer of the currently much discussed notion of philosophy as therapy, reveals a subtle and unfamiliar use of linguistic analysis that is not open to the standard objections to ordinary language philosophy, and yields a novel and forceful treatment of the sense-datum doctrine
Abstract: I interpret the anti-idealist manoeuverings of the second half of Moore's 'The refutation of idealism', material as widely cited for its discussion of 'transparency' and 'diaphanousness' as it is deeply obscure. The centerpiece of these manoeuverings is a phenomenological argument for a relational view of perceptual phenomenal character, on which, roughly, 'that which makes the sensation of blue a mental fact' is a non-intentional relation of conscious awareness, a view close to the opposite of the most characteristic contemporary view going under the transparency rubric. The discussion of transparency and diaphanousness is a sidelight, its principal purpose to shore up the main line of argumentation against criticism; in those passages all Moore argues is that the relation of conscious awareness is not transparent, while acknowledging that it can seem to be.
Abstract: The notion of representation has become ubiquitous throughout cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience and the cognitive sciences generally. This paper addresses the status of mental representations as entities that have been posited to explain cognition. I do so by examining similarities between mental representations and sense-data in both their characteristics and key arguments offered for each. I hope to show that more caution in the adoption and use of representations in explaining cognition is warranted. Moreover, by paying attention to problematic notions of representations, a less problematic sense of representation might emerge
Abstract: (forthcoming in Analysis) We owe the problem of the speckled hen to Gilbert Ryle. It was suggested to A.J. Ayer by Ryle in connection with Ayer’s account of seeing. Suppose that you are standing before a speckled hen with your eyes trained on it. You are in good light and nothing is obstructing your view. You see the hen in a single glance. The hen has 47 speckles on its facing side, let us say, and the hen ap pears speckled to you. On Ayer’s view, in seeing the hen, you directly see a speckled sense-datum or appearance. Ryle wondered how many speckles there are on the sense-datum. After all, intu itively, the hen does not appear to you to have 47 speckles. And if this is the case, then it does not present to you an appearance with 47 speckles. Equally, however, the hen does not appear to you not to have 47 speckles. So, it does not present an appearance that lacks 47 speckles either