A Theory of Sentience

Hardcover | April 5, 2000

byAusten Clark

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Austen Clark offers a general account of the forms of mental representation that we call `sensory'. To sense something, one must have some capacity to discriminate among sensory qualities; but there are other requirements. What are they, and how can they be put together to yield full-blownsensing? Drawing on the findings of current neuroscience, Clark proposes and defends the hypothesis that the various modalities of sensation share a generic form that he calls 'feature-placing'. Sensing proceeds by picking out place-times in or around the body of the sentient organism, and characterizingqualities (features) that appear at those place-times. Such feature-placing is a primitive kind--probably the most primitive kind--of mental representation. Once its peculiarities have been described, many of the puzzles about the intentionality of sensation, and the phenomena that lead some tolabel it 'pseudo-intentional', can be resolved. The hypothesis casts light on many other troublesome phenomena, including the varieties of illusion, the problem of projection, the notion of a visual field, the location of after-images, the existence of sense-data, and the role of perceptualdemonstratives. A Theory of Sentience will interest anyone interested in the topics of sensation, representation, or phenomenal consciousness.

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Austen Clark offers a general account of the forms of mental representation that we call `sensory'. To sense something, one must have some capacity to discriminate among sensory qualities; but there are other requirements. What are they, and how can they be put together to yield full-blownsensing? Drawing on the findings of current neu...

Austen Clark is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

other books by Austen Clark

Sensory Qualities
Sensory Qualities

Hardcover|Apr 30 1999

$213.32 online$282.00list price(save 24%)
Format:HardcoverPublished:April 5, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198238517

ISBN - 13:9780198238515

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Table of Contents

1. Quality Space; 2. Qualities and their Places; 3. Places Phenomenal and Real; 4. Sensing and Reference; 5. The Feature-Placing Hypothesis; 6. True Theories, False Colours; References; Index

Editorial Reviews

`there is much of interest to cognitive scientists working on the intentionality of sensation.'Barbara Montero, TLS, 18 May 2001