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I Me Mine: on a Confusion Concerning the Subjective Character of Experience

Guillot, MV; (2017) I Me Mine: on a Confusion Concerning the Subjective Character of Experience. Review of Philosophy and Psychology , 8 (1) pp. 23-53. 10.1007/s13164-016-0313-4. Green open access

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Abstract

In recent debates on phenomenal consciousness, a distinction is sometimes made, after Levine (2001) and Kriegel (2009), between the “qualitative character” of an experience, i.e. the specific way it feels to the subject (e.g. blueish or sweetish or pleasant), and its “subjective character”, i.e. the fact that there is anything at all that it feels like to her. I argue that much discussion of subjective character is affected by a conflation between three different notions. I start by disentangling the three notions in question, under the labels of “for-me-ness”, “me-ishness” and “mineness”. Next, I argue that these notions are not equivalent; in particular, there is no conceptual implication from for-me-ness to me-ishness or mineness. Empirical considerations additionally suggest that the three notions may also correspond to different properties (although the claim of conceptual non-equivalence does not depend on this further point). The aim is clarificatory, cautionary but also critical: I examine four existing arguments from subjective character that are fuelled by an undifferentiated use of the three notions, and find them to be flawed for this reason.

Type: Article
Title: I Me Mine: on a Confusion Concerning the Subjective Character of Experience
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s13164-016-0313-4
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13164-016-0313-4
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1485857
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