Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 42, 2008

Philosophy of Mind

Bosuk Yoon
Pages 215-222

What is the Subjectivity of Perceptual Experience?

For the purpose of this paper, I take it for granted that subjectivity is an essential character of perceptual experience. What I take issue with is the further claim that subjectivity of experience tends to support the view that phenomenal characters are intrinsic properties of experience. A criticism of the claim can be presented from the perspective of representationalism according to which phenomenal character is a kind of representational character. But representationalism fails to do justice to the fact that from the subjective point of view, we seem to be directly aware of mind-independent objects in the world. A stronger criticism can be based on the disjunctivist’s view of experience that best accommodates direct awareness of the external world. But disjunctivism rejects the common kind that also seems from the subject’s point of view to be shared by veridical perception and hallucination. The crucial problem is whether disjunctivists can make sense of the phenomenology of hallucination. Focusing the discussion on Martin’s epistemic version of disjunctivism, I hope to show the relevance of solving this problem for a better understanding of the subjectivity of experience.