The Character of Raw Feeling

Robert Kirk

in Raw Feeling

Published in print October 1996 | ISBN: 9780198236795
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679353 | DOI:
The Character of Raw Feeling

Show Summary Details


The inverted spectrum appears to be a serious threat to the book's broadly functionalist approach. The two different ways of seeing colours would seem to perform exactly the same functions. At any rate, like the positive and the negative of a film, they would perform exactly the same informational functions. So how could there really be two different ways of seeing colours? This apparent dilemma has forced some theorists into uncomfortable intellectual contortions. In fact, though, far from being a difficulty, the inverted spectrum idea, properly understood, flows naturally. It helps us towards a satisfyingly unified grasp of how raw feeling can have different characters — without involving an impenetrable privacy, or ‘figment’, or any kind of Cartesianism. So if there are independent reasons for accepting the inverted spectrum idea, or more strictly the Transformation thesis, they tend if anything to reinforce the validity of the approach. After stating the problem, this chapter examines what seems to be the most popular way of dealing with it among those who accept the inverted spectrum idea: the ‘bald’ psychophysical identity theory. It also examines a version of this position which exploits a notion of ‘inner sense’. In spite of its popularity, this position is untenable. The rest of the chapter will be chiefly concerned to show how the approach outlined earlier provides for an unproblematic treatment of the Transformation thesis.

Keywords: inverted spectrum; inner sense; functionalism; colours; Transformation thesis

Chapter.  14437 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.