The Dennes Room

Event Detail

Tue Apr 18, 2017
234 Moses, 6–7:30 PM
Grounding Sensible Qualities Workshop
Adam Bradley (UC Berkeley)
Bodily Sensations and Sensible Qualities

To what extent can we understand pain, and our awareness of it, on the model of color, and our awareness of it? For the Perceptualist, the answer is entirely: on that view, aches and other painful disturbances are a type of sensible quality, and our awareness of them is a form of perceptual awareness. In this talk, I critically evaluate Perceptualism by drawing out some deeply counterintuitive consequences of the view. I show how Perceptualism about pain leads to a serious paradox, drawing on arguments from the Perceptualists David Chalmers and Adam Pautz. I argue that the best way of responding to this paradox is to abandon Perceptualism, leaving us with the task of formulating an alternative. I then explain how can make sense of bodily pains and our awareness of them in a non-Perceptualist way. I argue that pains are not sensible qualities, but rather mind-dependent features of the body parts in which they are felt, and our awareness of them is not perceptual awareness, but rather bodily awareness, which is phenomenologically, epistemically, and functionally distinct from perception.