A Theory of Sentience by Austen Clark

A Theory of Sentience

byAusten Clark

Hardcover | April 5, 2000

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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.

About The Author

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

by Austen Clark


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Details & Specs

Title:A Theory of SentienceFormat: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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Extra Content

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