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Experiencing Temporal Properties

Blackburn, T; (2016) Experiencing Temporal Properties. Masters thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The topic of this essay is a class of properties that are naturally predicated both of the objects of experience, and experiences themselves: temporal properties. I begin by introducing the notion of a temporal property, before arguing that a basic ‘snapshot’ picture of temporal experience cannot accommodate our experience of these properties as properly conceived. Having completed this preliminary work, in chapter two I set out some of the key distinctions that will inform the argument of the essay; Dainton’s distinction between ‘extensionalism’ and ‘retentionalism’, and more importantly the notion of ‘temporal mirroring’. In chapter three, I focus on a major argument for mirroring from Phillips (2010), from the ‘transparency’ of experience. I present several ways by which this argument should be resisted, the main reason being that the notion of ‘transparency’ employed is not sufficiently clear to yield the conclusion Phillips requires. The discussion in chapter three also considers the notion of ‘seeming’ with regard to experience, and whether Phillips’ argument can be resisted by clarifying the notion of seeming at stake in the argument. In chapter four, I focus on some well-known empirical cases which I argue provide a further case against temporal mirroring; the Color-phi case and the case of the ‘cutaneous rabbit’. I consider a major response to these cases from Phillips (2014a), who argues that we should reconceive of experience as anhomoeomerous, and argue that this response faces numerous problems. The main conclusion of the essay is that we have good reason to reject temporal mirroring. In the final chapter, I briefly explore further issues that arise from the debate I have been considering, concluding that questions over the unity and continuity of experience over time still remain to be adequately addressed by all parties to the debate.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Experiencing Temporal Properties
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493264
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