Phenomenal consciousness of inexistent colors

Colors Paul Churchland calls “chimerical“, like what Mark Johnston calls “supersaturated red“, pose an interesting problem for qualia representationalism (QR). If we interpret QR as holding that a property is phenomenal when it is represented in a certain way, then phenomenality is relational. However, relations are instantiated only when their relata exist. And in chimerical color experiences, not only do the colors experienced not exist, they cannot exist. So the phenomenality of chimerical color experiences cannot consist in any relations to chimerically colored objects in the actual world or any non-acutal possible world since there are none.

One response to this problem would be to dump the representationalism. Another is to hold onto the representationalism and also a theory of content that is very narrow. I’m inclined toward the latter option.

One Response to “Phenomenal consciousness of inexistent colors”

  1. [...] See also: The Phenomenal Consciousness of Inexistent Colors, Paul Churchland book,  Cognition  and the Brain [...]